FACULTY OF EDUCATION
In 1997, teaching and research activities at the Faculty of Education brought about many positive results. By the end of September the Faculty was required to submit documentation for the 2nd round of accreditation proceedings. This determined that 1997 was a year in which departments, institutes and the Faculty as a whole balanced their activities since the previous Faculty accreditation in 1995. Institutes whose accreditation was deferred in the 1st round of proceedings submitted reports on their activities since 1990. Faculty management evaluated documentation issued by individual departments and institutes and reached the conclusion that in the majority of cases there had been an improvement in quantity and quality in terms of both teaching and research.
Stringent government measures resulted in a reduction in the original budget. The Faculty had to fight many financial battles and ultimately managed to rally only because of strict financial cuts (restriction of purchases, business trips, telephone bills, etc.) so the financial situation did not end with a loss.
Since autumn 1996, the teachers' chamber of the Academic Senate of the Faculty of Education has had a new team of members, and details of this are given on the Faculty's web pages. The membership of the students' chamber is also updated on these pages on an ongoing basis. At Senate meetings discussions are held and approvals is given or withheld on proposals concerning the Faculty's administration.
Research and artistic activities are governed by the main aim of the Faculty: to educate teachers whose level of professional knowledge, methodological skills and moral character are so high that they are able to represent Masaryk University in the education of future generations. This specific aim determines clearly the main focus of academic work at the Faculty: academic research in educational processes. The same issues are presented at conferences held by the Faculty such as "Musica viva in schola" and "Forum bohemicum" and also at regular meetings of authors of work on the theory and criticism of literature for children and young people. It is gratifying that the number of participants (both from home and abroad) at these academic meetings increases from year to year.
Under the auspices of the Church and the Brno City Council, the Faculty of Education also held the "Hidden Treasures - a Year in Liturgies" series of lectures, seminars and discussions. This important cultural event was accompanied by an exhibition of the same name at the Brno House of Art.
The number of students pursuing postgraduate programmes at the Faculty in five disciplines reached 66, 24 of whom are internal students and 42 of whom have opted for the distance form of study. Numbers of those interested in postgraduate (doctoral) studies, mainly in its distance form, greatly exceed the capacity of the Faculty of Education, which is not in a position to take a greater number of enrolments.
The number of grants received by the Faculty (2 from FR VŠ, 2 from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Physical Education, 2 from the Grant Agency which was also involved in the granting of a further two, 2 from TEMPUS and 1 from MU) was not regarded as wholly satisfactory and fully representative of the extent of academic research performed at the Faculty.
The Departments of Music, Art and Physical Education are actively involved in maintaining the profile of the Faculty and Masaryk University. Events in music included a number of appearances by the MU Choir, concerts by Faculty of Education teachers (singing - V. Richter; organ - I.Bartoš; piano - P. Hala) and creative composition work (M. Košut). Members of the Department of Visual Arts were represented at individual exhibitions (M. Magni, J. Vaněk), whilst others took part in collective exhibitions (B. Ružičková, R. Horáček, J. Havlíček, P. Kamenický). The Department of Physical Education held a number of sports events: one of the most important being "Seriously - Not That Seriously" - the 8th joint stage presentation between students and disabled children from the Institute of Social Care at Kociánka.
The number of publications by Faculty teachers increased considerably, especially in terms of monographs (19). The number of original academic works, textbooks and other teaching materials also rose.
The Central Library processed 4,469 new volumes. It subscribed to 240 Czech and foreign periodicals. At the end of last year, the equipping of one multimedia user station was completed, and users have now at their disposal 12 CD-ROMs.
The awards for the best five books for children and young people was an important Faculty event. It was held by the Golden Fund of Czech Literature for Children and Young People of the MU Faculty of Education under the auspices of the Lady Mayor of the City of Brno and in the presence of the MU Rector and a number of prominent publishers from throughout the Czech Republic.
The Faculty of Education of Masaryk University and the whole professional public in the Czech Republic suffered an irretrievable loss with the unexpected death of Prof. PaedDr. Igor Zhoo, CSc., Professor at the Department of Art of the MU Faculty of Education, Dean of the Faculty of Visual Arts of VUT Brno, member of the International Society of Art Teachers (INSEA and AICA), chair of the editorial board of the "Art Education" journal, member of a number of academic senates of professional committees, respected art expert, dedicated friend and teacher of many Czech visual artists, excellent journalist and leading figure in the field of visual arts who exercised a great influence on far more than the town in which he lived.
In 1997, 4,012 students were enrolled at the Faculty of Education, 15.89% up on the previous year. The Faculty arranged for doctoral studies in five academic disciplines. Studies towards a master's degree traditionally focus on the teaching of general subjects of education with a teaching qualification for elementary schools and the lower grades of grammar schools, or else on teaching for primary schools, the students of which have to choose one specialization (out of 12 disciplines) in the first year of the study. In the disciplines with accreditation for the 3rd school level (i.e. the higher years of secondary/grammar schools) undergraduates are also trained to teach at secondary and elementary art schools. Master's study programmes are in the vast majority of cases bi-disciplinary.
Alongside the master's courses, the Faculty of Education offers full-time bachelor's courses in social pedagogy specializing in after-school activities, plus single-subject bachelor's courses in English, German and French, a bachelor's correspondence course in special pedagogy and a number of non-diploma follow-up courses. The Faculty also runs extension courses which enable the obtaining of qualifications to teach at a higher school level.
In spite of the difficult economic situation, the Faculty managed to strengthen its contacts abroad. This was possible mainly because of direct invitations from foreign institutes, various grants and international programmes, and to a lesser extent through agreements between MU and universities abroad. The Faculty also received grants from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Physical Education and AIA. Some trips abroad took place on the basis of individual contacts. 132 members of the Faculty teaching staff went on 93 trips to 19 countries. Among the most visited countries were the following: Germany (27 trips/30 members), Slovakia (16/34), Poland (10/10), Austria (9/13), plus France, the Netherlands, Hungary, Russia and others. For the first time, teachers of the Faculty of Education visited South Korea. The majority of trips abroad was for study stays (39) and a variety of conferences and seminars (45). A number of the above-mentioned trips also involved the holding of lectures. Five members of the Faculty sat at meetings of professional committees or academic councils.
In 1997, 41 students went abroad (including postgraduates). The number of long-term study stays increased considerably, especially in the case of the USA. The most visited countries were Germany (11) and France (5).
Visits to Brno of academics from abroad usually concerned their participation in professional meetings and discussions, the giving of lectures or short-term study stays. The greatest number of visitors were academics from Germany and Austria, who participated in a variety of programmes held at the Department of Special Education (12).
The Faculty of Education held a number of international events, among the most important being "Orff's Schulwerk", the "Musica viva in schola" conference and a session of the committee of the International Council of Onomastic Sciences.
In 1997, the Publishing Commission of the Faculty of Education published 41 titles (39 textbooks, 2 festschrifts) with a total number of 15,256 copies. Commercial activities of the Faculty's bookshop were also very successful: the turnover amounted to more than CZK 1 million. Through the MU publisher one monograph was issued. Editorial activities stabilised and the effective equipping of the publishing centre is now a major inititaive. The Faculty appointed its own professional editor, a measure which has proven successful.