“The Best Educators in Serbia” from Novi Sad, through the Association “Živojin Mišić” which is collaborating with the HPWL team on one of the projects, had an opportunity to welcome young people from this organization and take part in a very interesting project.
On Monday, 10th and 11th of February 2020, thre of our teachers – Goran Jovišić, Marinko Petković and Vesela Mačkić had a chance to welcome a team from the HPWL organization form South Korea, in their schools. The HPWL organization advocates for world peace and putting a stop to all wars. One of the ways they promote their ideas is by “Education Peace Letter” project. The main goal of this project is to teach students about peace, what is assertive communication, to understand different perspectives about the world and to develop social responsibility. The value of these skills and knowledge can be seen in the ability of students, who master them, to timely recognize violence in the school environment, both verbal and physical. They are the advocates of change. Later, they could use these skills and knowledge in order to make the world a place without conflicts.
When the Association “Živojin Mišić” contacted the educators, what attracted them to collaborate with the HPWL organization, aside from project of world importance, was the possibility of learning and experience exchange with the nation, which is an initiator of worldwide technological changes. Aside from that, educators recognized the importance of familiarizing our students with the culture of South Korea, as well as the possibility to place Serbia as one of the countries fighting for world peace.
Students of schools “Milan Petrović” in Novi Sad, “Ivan Gundulić” in Čenej and the Karlovci Gymnasium in Sremski Karlovci, during the workshop, had an opportunity to discover their inner self, to critically contemplate about peace, to write a note about peace through writing exercises, as well to evaluate their own values, skills and knowledge. They expressed themselves through creativity and they were completely engaged in the teaching process, which didn’t go unnoticed.
Rebecca Kim says, in the name of the HPWL organization, that her team will never forget the impression students made on them. She emphasizes the fact that they were very interested in the project and very enthusiastic while expressing their thoughts and feelings. She repeated that it was their pleasure to cooperate with our teachers, who were open and generous, and that they hope they will have an opportunity for collaboration in the near future.
During the visit, educators had a possibility to discuss similarities and differences between the educational system in Serbia and South Korea. Thus, the South Korean team in Sremski Karlovci, was very eager to obtain more information regarding the gymnasium system and its division on social and science departments. They’ve noticed that Gymnasium in Karlovac gives primary importance to humanistic sciences, which is the complete opposite of their system. They were interested in the methods of teaching mathematics as they follow a different approach in their country. They asked questions about mother language teaching methods – specifically whether they study grammar and literature separately or are they conjoined in one subject. Our guests saw the advantages of our educational system, where classical languages like Latin, are still studied. It was especially interesting for them to know how many foreign languages Serbian students learn and how did Korean find a place on the foreign language selection list.
The visit of South Korean organization, aside from intercultural dialogue, brought new perspective and knowledge regarding teaching methods. Goran Jovišić states: “ Through the example of obvious teaching, I saw how you can design and effectively realise any topic, even as serious topic like world peace. I learned new teaching methods, I made new goals for myself and new outcomes of the teaching process. We were introduced to many innovative methods that can be used for teaching all subjects, not only informatics”.
Vesela Mačkić said that Rebecca, Jason and Emillys visit brought joy to her classroom and that she hopes that they will continue to collaborate on similar projects in the future because her students enjoyed different teaching approach. She pointed out that she was very proud of her students for saying that the family is their biggest treasure and that this will have a crucial impact on their future decisions. She gained the impression that her students discovered the importance of putting themselves first and uncovered their inner values, moreover set new goals and plans.
Marinko Petković emphasized that the visit fulfilled all of his expectations and that it was important for him that he had a chance to show his methods and achievements he accomplished with students. Aside from that, he said that students were very happy with the workshop they took part in, moreover that every change contributes to work improvement. He especially pointed out that it was very interesting for children with autism to write Korean letters and to learn about their culture. The teacher stated that South Korean Guests were mostly interested in the methods used for teaching children with developmental difficulties, as well as Marinko Petković’s teaching methods. Moreover, through the discussion, he learned that Serbian and South Korean systems are very different, especially when it comes to educational goals.
Our teachers had an opportunity to continue collaboration through student exchange scholarships given by our government and the government of South Korea. The cooperation would be about language learning, obtaining IT, communication and entrepreneurial skills. They emphasize the importance of orienting towards students, their needs and desires, as well as to prepare them from the challenges of the 21st century.
In two weeks, the HPWL team will visit some of our educators in schools in Belgrade.
We are looking forward to another gathering and networking!