Study methods and forms, the use of computers, multimedia and internet Lectures, practical sessions and laboratory works are the common study forms at the university. There are dialogical methods applied more often and wider within the study process than before; the research work is takes a very significant place within the studies – mostly during the practical training and when developing reseach papers, besides the role of research could be also extended towards the theoretical study courses. Special attention within the study process is paid to the integration of IT in the study courses, which are related to the home environment, as well as pedagogy and psychology. Multimedia and other information technologies are also widely applied in the study courses related to IT, as well as for the development and presentation of term papers, reports on practical training and Bachelor Papers.
At present two large lecture rooms (No. 336 and No. 431) of the Institute of Education and Home Economics are equipped with a computer and a data projector. Multimedia is used for the implementation of study process by many members of the teaching staff of the Institute of Education and Home Economics, for example, for the study courses of Methodology of Information Technologies (V.Gailisa), IT in Education (N.Vronska, U.Peksa), Methodology of Pedagogical Research (V.Tomsons), School Management (V.Laudams), Culture and Art (N.Luse), Home Economics (A.Pridane), etc. Multimedia is also used in all the study courses, where it is possible and necessary. The students present the results of their individual studies or research, as well as defend their reports on the practical training, using multimedia.
There are 15 computers in the computer room at the Institute of Education and Home Economics; they all are connected to the INTERNET. Although the originally the computer room was arranged to ensure the access to the computers for the students for the individual studies, since the academic year 2004/2005 classes in several study courses also take place there, for example, the practical sessions of such study courses as Methodology of Information Technologies (V.Gailisa), IT in Education (N.Vronska, I.Ezermane, U.Peksa), Adult Education (B.Briede), Pedagogy of Art (N.Luse), Culture and Art (L.Ozolniece), Modelling (S.Reihmane), etc.
The integration of home economics and informatics:
There had been developed interactive programme for the study course Food (Assoc. Prof. V.Rozenbergs), where household is integrated with the information technologies.
There has been developed the programme (a study course and software) in ethnography (lect. L.Ozolniece), where the information technologies and the ethnographic part of home economics are integrated.
The blocks of study courses Food, Home Economics, Applied Engineering, etc. provide that the students use MS Excel for the calculation necessary for their studies and development of term papers.
The students use the existing standard software, for example, Corel Draw, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator for the study course Composition and Colours, Design of Interior and other study courses for designing a composition or creative self-realization.
There is a requirement to use ICT, when developing teaching and visual aids during the methodological and pedagogical practice. Thus the students consolidate their knowledge and skills, acquired at the study courses of information technologies and the study course IT in Education.
The Bachelor’s Paper must contain the part on methodology, which should reflect the theme under the research in the aspect of both methodology of household and methodology of information technologies. There are mostly issues of subject integration dealt with.
The research work of the academic staff There has increased the number of the teaching staff with the doctoral degree, involved in the implementation of the study programme, - two members of the teaching staff of the Institute of Education and Home Economics (I.Lice and I.Katane) have received doctoral degree in pedagogy in 2005.
V. Gailisa has been again involved in the implementation of the study programme. Her research, performed within the process of Master Paper development, as well as pedagogical experience is related to the use of ICT in education. She delivers the study course Methodology of Information Technologies, and in the academic year 2005/2006 she started her studies at the doctoral study programme in pedagogy. Her dissertation is planned in the field of information technologies in education.
More than a half (54%) of the lecturers with the Master’s degree, involved in the implementation of programme (18 people), continue their doctoral studies; 8 of them have completed the theoretical part of doctoral programme, for example, the former student of doctoral studies I.Kazaine continues the research on IT in education.
The themes of two members of the teaching staff, studying in the doctoral programme in pedagogy at the Latvia University of Agriculture, are related to the application of information technologies in education (V.Gailisa, N.Vronska).
Three members of teaching staff (S.Reihmane, A.Pridane and Z.Beitere) continue their doctoral research on the topicalities of the content and teachning of household. There is a considerable number of Master’s Papers defended on the household education.
The Institute of Education and Home Economics implements the scientific project funded by the Ministry of Education and Science “Professional and further education for the rural areas of Latvia within the European Union context”, where one of the project results is planned: to perform the research on the possibility to use IT within the professional study programmes on the basis of study courses for the teachers of home economics.
On April 27-28, 2006, the international scientific conference “Rural Environment. Education. Personality.”, organized by the Institute of Educationa and Home Economics, took place. The main topics of the conference were: the ecology of education; the quality of living conditions within the context of home environment, home economics and household; didactics, especially the application of IT, cross curricular links, integration; the development of professional education; the education to acquire the competence in the rural environment; the psychology of education. As we can see, one of six topics, discussed at the conference, dealt with the application of IT in education.
Information about the research work of the academic staff can be found in the chapter 7.6.
The research work of the students
The students from all study years take an active part in annual students’ scientific conference “Self-perfection today and tomorrow”, present their reports, where they reflect the results of research performed, when they developed their term papers in such study courses as Pedagogy, Psychology, Methodology of Household and Information Technologies, or the results of the research carried out concerning other aspects of study content.
The partipation of the students, studying at the study programme Home Environment and Information Technologies in Education, in the students’ scientific conference “Self-perfection today and tomorrow”
The total number of the participants
Participants – students of the study programme Home Environment and Information Technologies in Education
The students have performed research and presented reports at the conference on different interesting themes, for example: Laura Zukauska “Self-education of primary school pupils in a museum”, “Didactic aspects of pupils’ excursion”; Inita Jankevica “Students’ methodological practice as the facilitator of self-education”; Ilze Cuibe “Interest related education in a school”; Iveta Salmina “The integration of the subjects of household and information technologies”, etc.
Since the spring term of the academic year 2004/2005 the 3rd year students have already chosen the themes for their Bachelor Papers and started the research, the performance of which is facilitated by the studies of the study course Methodology of Pedagogical Research and pedagogical practice of 7 weeks during the 6th term (in the 3rd study year), as well as practical training during the 4th study year. When developing their Bachelor Papers, the students perform research on the problems related to the studies of household and information technologies at a school. At present the 4th year students have performed pedagogical research and defended their Bachelor Papers on the following themes:
1. Diāna Ivanova - Artistical Creativity of Pupils in Lessons of Home Economics
and Information Technologies).
2. Inita Jankeviča - Development of Students Research Skills in University Studies.
3. Agija Kalniņa - Development of Learning Results Assesment in Information
Technologies and Home Economics in Primary School.
5. Nataļja Kozlova - Interrelation in Pedagogical Environment.
6. Inga Kruglauža -Using of Technical Teaching Aids for Pupils Learning
7. Jānis Nagažs - The Mission of a Teacher for Children with Special Needs in
Lessons of Home Economics.
8. Andrejs Soroka - Computer Game as a Teaching Method for Pupils in Form 6.
9. Guna Zemīte - Behaviour of Pupils (Grade 7.-9.) in Interrelation with Adults.
Several authors have been recommend to publish the results of their Bachelor Papers and offered an opportunity to participate together with the teachers-supervisors of practical training and teaching staff in the development and publishing of methodological materials within the framework of the ESF financed project “The innovative and traditional provision at the base schools of pedagogical practice for the qualitative professional education of future teachers of household and information technologies within the modern educational process”. The collection of methodological materials, envisaged as the supplementary aid for the students during their practical training, as well as for the new teachers, is planned to publish in the autumn of 2006.