In the world of education, there are still no uniform standards at the national, regional, and especially continental level. It is quite sometimes inappropriate to speak about the global goals of education, when we still do not sufficiently call ourselves, colleagues from neighboring countries, and colleagues from other continents.
We have witnessed the rapid opening and closing of Chapter 25 in the accession negotiations with the European Union regarding education and general principles in the education process itself. The European Union is still looking for an ideally "good" solution in this area, which is achieved by working together on a problem and sharing ideas about a possible solution.
Teachers from Serbia are reluctant to take part in international schools, seminars and trainings. The biggest problem is created by finances, but also by lack of knowledge of the basic means of communication - language. Teachers who teach a foreign language have always been an asset, as their home faculties, through various forms of lectures, workshops and summer practices, introduce them to the education systems of the state or group of countries whose language they are learning. Teachers, educators and teachers whose subjects are not strictly related to the study of languages were not able to learn more about the ways and methods of work of colleagues from other countries. Each teacher is left to discover and find out how someone else in the "other world" does the same thing we do. This is the story of my experience that I shared with my colleagues from Serbia, as well as from the region.
One random encounter and an unmeasured statement at the place where science "lives" and where it all begins and eventually ends, with explanations for our existence on this planet, made my wish come true to find out how my colleagues from that "other world" solve problems in personal work those ideas, how they approach working with children with disabilities. During the official presentation of ITW2018 trainee teachers at CERN, the excitement that overcomes the fatigue of traveling all day and changing a large number of time zones is evident. After introducing the students, the CERN hosts say a word of gratitude and give historical information about where we are. During the presentation of the historical development of CERN, the countries on whose initiative research in this field of science was initiated, with the result of improving the lives of all of us, are mentioned. By inviting participants from the founding countries, we reach up to 12 signatory states of Yugoslavia and our representative, prof. Dr. Paul Savic. At the expectation of the host that there is no person in the room who could go out and introduce the signer, I kindly stop the speaker and go out on stage. With a lackluster roll with the eyes of some colleagues, I explain that some of my knowledge, which I carry about this field, just came from prof. Dr. Paul Savic, for which I am very grateful. With signs of support, the applause applauds us all on stage.
During the conversation, it is noticeable that many of them have little or no knowledge of this part of the world. I experienced this fact as a personal non-engagement and lack of information about ourselves. Then the idea of exchanging both teachers and ideas of working methods and techniques in the education process arose. Teacher from Canada, Michael Gregory was particularly interested, as he uses his free time to tour the Europe region by bicycle. During these trips, she conducts interesting experiments for students in schools in towns and villages, where there are enthusiastic teachers in their work. So, after completing his training at CERN, he set out on a bicycle to visit the Paris trainees in Istanbul. In a short conversation, he asked me to propose to him, the shortest possible route from Hungary to Turkey with a noticeable fear of what might happen along the way.
With Google Maps and knowledge of local customs, I suggested that he take a short break in Novi Sad and gather energy for the future. He agreed. After a few weeks, the day of my visit to my school and his first encounter with children with disabilities arrived. We performed several experiments together and he was completely left without comment when children in a special school performed a custom Rutherford experiment, showing the appearance of atoms. The planned two-day visits were extended to four. On the way to Istanbul, he was greeted by colleagues at his schools in Paracin, Zajecar, Kladovo…
On this year's trip, he asked me to make a route so that I could introduce him to this region. The route was named "Our Gift to the World". During the trip he visited schools and colleagues in Maribor, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Ogulin. He visited the place where Tesla, his native Smiljan, came from. His enthusiasm for nature and landscapes was seen in hundreds of photos and videos for his students. Plitvice Lakes seemed to him an inspiration to Tesla for his work. Visits to Drvar, Jajce, Travnik, Sarajevo, Tuzla….
After visiting his colleagues in Bosnia and Herzegovina, he arrived in Sabac, from where he made impressions of his students.
These are the impressions of our colleague Tatjana Markovic-Topalovic from Sabac. Tatjana:
There is a wonderful movie we watched when we were kids organizing a school. It concerns syllables and working together. I don't know if today's generations know about the movie "Train in the Snow." There is one great scene in that movie where the kids, together with their hard work, dig a train covered with snow. For me, after many years, that scene is the most memorable of all that I have seen in many films later. You review the movie at this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lA6Rvh9UJQ
And you have one great very persuasive and suggestive song, composed by Arsen Dedic, at the following link, and its title is: "When brotherly hands agree ..."
I think you can breathe the lyrics of this song with your lungs full. It is only when you understand the song and the joint movement of one great group of kids who together dig the train out of the bother that you can understand what it really means to bind people at all levels. Their release of the train is, in my opinion, today also a metaphorical release of our education and the attachment of the same and the best to the greatest task whose imperative is the education of our children….
My introduction and networking of ideas and inspiration to young Michale Gregory is just that. Namely, our esteemed colleague Marinko called me so spontaneously, in no small measure and charming (as he can) on Tuesday 22.10. and told me "I'm sending you Michael". The next day at 5:00 pm Michael was on our pink Square in Sabac, ready to climb his bicycle after an 11-hour drive from Tuzla to the Letnjikovac Hill and see the idea of the Science Park in Sabac. He, Marinko, impressed me, their wonderful connection, Michael's interest, respect for our country, people. I was his guide through our first Science Park. He was genuinely fascinated. He showed great interest in establishing a similar Park at his school, but also to bring his students to Serbia and to Sabac and to introduce them to the quality of teachers, students, schools and experiments in Serbia. The most valuable thing about our fifteen-hour meeting is our acquaintance, idea, exchange of information and ideas, networking with colleagues and children from different parts of the world. Worldly, and ours, Marinko. By unusual circumstances, our Michael was inspired to bring his students to Serbia and give them the opportunity to perceive education and science in Serbia in a special way. You can read about his attitude and ideas in a newspaper article in the local Šabac newspaper called Podrinske novine. I think the article is exceptional and you will be able to look at Michael's strategy in science.
The end of our meeting was in Novi Sad in a place already familiar to him. On the last day, he became a teacher, who taught my children in the classroom. In addition and completely surprised, he was greeted by a film at a school in Belgrade. Our youngest students had the opportunity to learn and learn the most important lessons in life that we are as big as we share.
Link to the movie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=my_oS6Irqb8
Belgrade, Tanja Vrecko
Thanks to the excellent cooperation of teachers within the Best Educators of Serbia, Marinko Petrovic tried to contact me at my school and to introduce me to the world-class physicist, as the host of always open arms for interesting and advanced teachers. Having fun with the students of "Mladost" Elementary School was inspiring for both us and Michael. Wide-eyed, Thursdays and Eights, they watched the experiments, but also listened to the journeys of this fascinating teacher of his own, no matter what country he was in. As real hosts, we did our best to make his stay in school a pleasant memory. Going through our school, he made a comparison with the school he works in and we were pleased because we ourselves confirmed that our school is a school for the 21st. Thanks to the collaboration of teachers within the school and an interactive relationship with the principal, who is open to learning and sharing experiences with all well-meaning teachers in the district, Michael Gregory has brought to our world a genealogy that will remind him that roots are very important, the magic bike bell which brought him to many interesting countries and an interactive book about Michael Pupin made by my quarterbacks. We managed to get the media interested in this gathering. We also hosted a team of "Mali Dnevnik" who wanted to introduce this interesting physicist and children of Serbia who did not have the opportunity to get to know him. I believe that our collaboration is a benefit to all participating teachers, but most of all to children with disabilities.
This teacher selflessly shares his knowledge and skills in the work. So every spring she goes to Ghana, where she teaches teachers how to work and motivate students for the natural sciences. He asked for permission and help to pass on both our experiments and our knowledge to those who are just making the first steps in the world of science.
Our education system is just as bad as another country's system is good and vice versa. Only by meeting in direct exchange experiences and knowledge with other colleagues it is possible to take the right steps into the happy future of our students.
Authors: Marinko Petkovic, Tanja Vrecko, Tatjana Markovic Topalovic.