Pre-school Teacher Training – Field of study catalogue MU
Pre-school Teacher Training
“Our teachers must not be mere signposts that only point the way yet fail to progress themselves. - Comenius”
The study programme aims to provide quality education and qualifications to future pre-primary school teachers. The individual courses aim to develop various competences (field didactic, pedagogical, psychological, communicative and other) necessary for future pre-school teachers.
The programme builds on a model of personal development, in the centre of which lie the pedagogical and psychological disciplines (Introduction to pedagogy and psychology, Pre-school pedagogy, Pedagogical psychology, Theory and practice of pre-school curriculum, Pedagogical and psychological diagnostics, etc.).
The content-specific courses reflect the complex nature of pre-primary school education. The pedagogical and psychological dimensions of the programme form the basis for courses of field-specific content and corresponding didactics (Czech language and literature, Learning about nature and society, Developing pre-mathematical notions). Other central courses concentrate on other important cultural content and its didactics (such as arts, music, drama, health) and topical issues (environmental and global education). Courses in the field-didactic dimension aim to develop such pedagogical content knowledge that allow the graduate to view the subject matter from the pre-primary school perspective. A wide spectrum of teaching approaches and methods is presented and open to further innovation. An emphasis is placed on interconnecting the students’ theoretical and practical knowledge and skills through the reflection of their practical experiences.
The syllabi of all courses are structured in such a way so as to support the development of students’ theoretical and applied knowledge and skills.
A system of reflected teaching practice aims to systematically develop the students' professional competences based on reflection of the educational reality and also self-reflection with an outlook for continuing professional development.
Evaluation standards are included in the Masaryk University Study and Examination Regulations. The credit requirement for graduation from the programme is 180 credits.
After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:
- apply the acquired theoretical knowledge to the practice of educating children of pre-school age
- effectively participate in interactions with all participants in education; pupils, parents, colleagues, school partners
- effectively plan a school curriculum in order to realise aims set in the state-level curriculum (FEP PE)
- make use of suitable strategies of developing key competences in children with respect to their individual needs and capabilities
- guarantee a safe, positive and stimulating environment (emotional and social) for children’s positive development
- make use of diagnostic and reflective skills in assessing the children’s progress and development and also the effects of pre-school education
The graduates of the Bachelor's study programme are qualified teachers in pre-school educational institutions, e.g. kindergartens; the target age group of the children being 3-6 years of age.
The study programme is planned over six semesters. Students must acquire 180 credits in required and selective courses in order to be allowed to enrol for the final state examination. Required courses constitute the basis of the professional development programme and amount up to 161 credits (including credits for courses that support the development of the Bachelor's thesis). The remaining 19 credits are awarded for courses that the students select according to their interests to suit their professional or personal preferences.
The students are guided by the study catalogue that is available on the faculty’s website.
Practical training is a compulsory component of the study programme and amounts to 360 hours of teaching practice and 50 hours of supervision meetings (individual and in groups). All of the practical training takes place in faculty-delegated kindergartens. The assessment of success of the training is based on the quality of reflection that takes place at the supervision meetings. Student portfolios and journals are used.
Introductory teaching practice (1st semester, 1 week) – provides elementary orientation in today’s pre-primary schools. Experience from observations are reflected in discussions with pedagogues and psychologists.
Continuing teaching practice (2nd semester, 2 hours per week) – is complemented with reflective seminars in cooperation with faculty staff (pedagogues and psychologists). The students are acquainted with specific patterns of pedagogical communication and develop their reflective skills.
Assistant teaching practice (3rd semester, 2 hours per week) – aim to invite the students into the educational reality and allow them to try out a simple teaching task with a single child or a small group of children (in the role of assistant teacher).
Reflected teaching practice integrated with field didactics: Pre-mathematic notions (2nd semester), Language education (3rd semester), Literary education (3rd semester), Arts education (6th semester), Physical and health education (5th semester), Music education (5th semester). The aim is to combine general didactic theory with the specific context of pre-primary education.
Theory and practice of pre-school curriculum (4th semester, 1 week) – The aim is to present the current system of schooling and to generate answers to questions concerning planning, realising and evaluating pre-school curriculum.
Block teaching practice (5th semester, 3 weeks) – aims to help integrate the theoretical and practical dimensions of teacher education through intensive reflection of teaching practice experiences.
Clinical teaching practice (6th semester, 5 weeks) – takes place in schools of the students’ own choice. The aim is to further develop reflective and self-reflective competences in the genuine context of every-day pre-primary education.
The final state examination is oral and consists of: Bachelor's thesis defence, Czech language and literature, pedagogy and psychology. An emphasis is placed not on the ability to memorise facts but rather on the ability to apply knowledge in the specific context of school practice with the support of the student's portfolio.
The programme’s graduates may (provided they fulfil further requirements) continue to study in the Master's study programmes of the same or similar orientation.
Talent tests are not included in the entrance examination; however, the applicants are expected to possess skills in the domains of music, art and sport.
In the music domain, knowledge of basic concepts is expected, music notation reading and writing in treble and bass clef, major and minor scales, basic intervals and triads; the ability is also expected to repeat simple melodic and rhythmical units, accurately sing simple songs and enunciate correctly. As to playing the piano, the applicants are expected to have mastered technical exercises and pieces from standard courses for beginners (e.g., Köhler, Beyer, Fibich – Malát, Sarauer, Bartók, Janžurová – Borová, Emonts apod.). The recommended level of proficiency is corresponds to four years of basic music school. The ability to play other musical instruments is not developed within the Kindergarten Teacher Training and cannot substitute playing the piano. Within the physical education domain the programme concentrates on developing the basic techniques and methods of elementary sport activities, on acquiring relevant theory and didactics of physical education and health education. No qualifying sport limits are set as part of the entrance examination; however, only students not exempt from physical education may enrol to study in the programme. In the domain of arts, the students are expected to be interested in arts and culture and to have an elementary insight into the history of art and also elementary knowledge about art and relevant skills. In individual courses, authentic creativity is cultivated.
Concerning foreign language competences, an entrance level of A2 is expected (according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) in English, German, French or Russian. Students then continue to study the chosen language and its didactics further.