Dalton system (learning is fun and joy not torture!!!)

Dear friends,

If you are considering which school should your kid attend try to think about this educational system/approach which was developed long time ago and which breaks all the awful rules of conservative learning approach and give your child the possibility of joy from learning and exploring new things.

I am writing this post because I was helping  my previous primary school teacher, now applicant for chief executive officer of the primary school, with the administration of her final thesis about the Dalton system applied in her school.  I got interested in the results she had observed during her 19 years of practical experience and how the Dalton system developed and is applied now in the primary school I attended  many years ago 🙂 .

Dalton school plan is characterized by giving the freedom, independence, boosting cooperation, integration and creativity of kids in order to contribute to their development and enrichment of their intelligence and potential.

“Dalton is not any method or system. Dalton is an influence”

I got to know about the Dalton system through my primary school teacher in The Czech Republic and got more interested in it, because I was attending her classes since 1990-1995 and she as a new hired teacher started to experiment and applied this system in her teaching methods. I do remember how I was looking forward to do all given tasks because later I could enjoy leisure activities like playing, dancing, painting etc.  Before this teacher came I had big problems with our old teacher, because I was not that kind of kid which would sit on its bottom whole hour and just listen. I used to finished my tasks, stood up and walked across the class and chat with my classmates…………….. of course this was according to conservative rules impermissible so a punishment for me followed 🙂

My parents were becoming desperate from all the times they were called due “my undesired behavior”, but as we realized later, there was no problem on my side but in the old teacher approach. Later with the implentation of Dalton Plan I always reached the highest score and I did not have any problem with studying anymore. I finished as Master of economic sciences with an A mark (the best score) from my examinations and with an special recognition on my final thesis 🙂

helen_daltonDalton system (Dalton Laboratory Plan) is not a new system. It got its name from the city Dalton in USA, where was implemented by the teacher Helen Parkhurst (1886-1973). She was unsatisfied with the current system and specifically she disliked that students, even they differ by their skills and abilities and working pace, had to work together under same speed and they had to learn the same topics (content). That’s why she started to use an individual working plan for the students and after two years in 1922 she got published  an education book based in the Dalton Education Plan.

This Dalton system fastly developed and spread to other countries such as Japan, China, India, USSR, Canada, Poland, Natherlands, etc.

The Dalton system differs from other alternative school system because it does not have uniform form. It is permanently developing, changing according to current social conditions and needs. Also every school is adopting their plans according to their instructions and every teacher can change also the plan according to the needs of his students and their specifics.  Helen Parkhurst experimented with the plan whole her life and she was open minded to new approaches and usage of new tools which should improve the quality of education and effectiveness.  Which means that the content of education according to Dalton plan is currently different from that one which was used 80 years ago.

What I like on the Dalton system are basic principles:  independence, freedom in the decision about the order of activities to perform, cooperation between students

The Dalton system can be applied in many ways.  At the primary school in the Brno is used specifically for the education of talented kids.  For better understanding I will briefly explain difference between “SMART” and “TALENTED” kid because this typology together with characteristics can be easily applied not only for the kids education but also in the case of communication towards adults.

SMART TALENTED
Knows how to answer Asks additional question
Is interested Is curious
Has good ideas Has extraordinary ideas
Answers on a given question Is interested in details, elaborates, completes
Is the leader of the group Is independent, often works alone
Simply learner Has already most of the knowledge
Is popular among other students Is more comfortable in the company of older students
Does understand the meaning Does make conclusions
Exactly copies given solution Creates new solution
Feels good in the kindergarten and school Feels good when he learns something new
Receives information Uses the information
Is persistent in observation Observes carefully
Is satisfied with studying and his results Is very self-critical

From this table and also from the study which my teacher gave me is visible how important is to take care about the talented kids and we have to consider that no matter which method or approach of education will be chosen we have to always appreciate and accept their special skills and talent. Specialy talented kids can be beneficial for whole society  in every sphere of our social life (medicine, modern technologies, arts or sport etc.). We just have to create the proper environment which will keep and boost their potential since early age.
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Young always smiling mom of 2 boys . Finished her master degree at the Economical University in Brno (Czech Republic) country in the heart of Europe. Heading new life stage with a brand new role in my future life career. I have been working for student NGO AIESEC, playing accordion for 11 years, swimming as a competitive mono flip swimmer, singing in a teenage choir and joining different hobbies when any opportunity appeared. I love traveling and exploring new countries so that's why I have been studying abroad (Finland, Thailand), working abroad (Estonia) and daddy of my kids is from Venezuela :). I am a passionate dancer too. Now working for various projects, passionate about a vegan diet.

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