​Block taught Civics

It does not happen very often that students would applaud their teachers at the end of a course; however, we have enjoyed such a rare moment recently. Last week saw an end of this year’s first block- taught subject we offer our upper-gymnasium students in the course of their Social Studies programme. The subject was Introduction to Political Science and it was taught for over three and half days to both of our Kvinta groups. The subject was carried out under the supervision of our Department of Social and Humanity sciences colleagues, who team-taught and prepared a tailor-made student portfolio, where students were asked to discuss not only theoretical concepts, share and discuss their opinions but also explore real life situations relevant to the subject matter studied.

Throughout the course of this project, we explored some interesting texts by T.G.Masaryk and Karel Čapek, contemporary as well as 19th century newspaper articles discussing political issues concerning democracy and excerpts from old constitutions. To name but a few, we discussed such themes as nationhood, statehood, concepts of democracy, ideology and how it affects our lives, the key principles of a democratic life, the roles and future of political parties, concepts of civil society, extremism, and election processes.

To experience the subject matter at hand to the fullest, we made an excursion to two very special places: the Chamber of Deputies, and the Office of the President of the Republic. Both places allowed our students to experience what they had been only reading about and it offered a deeper insight into the subject. Furthermore, on our way through the beautiful historical parts of our capital city, we had a chance to discuss other interesting questions relating to architecture as well as art.

At the moment, the students are working on their portfolios, preparing themselves for the defense, i.e. the exam that follows block-teaching; an exam, where teachers and students discuss and debate over topics from the portfolio. This exam shall take place sometime during the first week in November, but seeing the enthusiasm and energy with which the students took on all the challenges and got engaged in discussions, we do not fear they would deliver anything short of perfect performance.

We all look forward to having the next project this November; but this time with our Sexta students and the theme is Sociology.

Here you can find the photogallergy.

Lukas Chytry et al.