Special Initiatives in Mathematics and Science Education
The long term initiatives in mathematics and science education can be divided into two broad categories:
- State-managed initiatives—Covering allowance organizations of the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports (i.e., the National Institute for Further Education, the National Institute for Education, the Education Counseling Centre, and the Centre for the Continuing Education of Teachers)
- Expert-managed voluntary initiatives—Covering concerned associations that unite experts (i.e., researchers, scholars, and teachers) in their respective fields of research (e.g., the Union of Czech Mathematicians and Physicists, the Czech Chemical Society, and the Czech Geographical Society)
State-managed organizations focus on preparing and implementing educational programs for pedagogical staff in all regions of the Czech Republic, developing didactic materials for use in schools, and analyzing future needs in education (including mathematics and science education). Expert-managed voluntary initiatives aim to support and facilitate mathematical, biological, chemical, and geographical research, improve mathematics and science education, disseminate new knowledge from theory into practice, and popularize the various branches of mathematics and science. The expert-managed initiatives comprise conferences, specific educational training programs for teachers from every type of school, activities for students to enhance their interest in mathematics and science, mathematics and science competitions for students, and didactic materials for every type of school.
Various nongovernmental or private organizations funded by the European Social Fund or the Regional Funds offer further support to schools, in the form of didactic materials and educational programs. Initiatives led by nongovernmental organizations and civic associations focusing on environmental and sustainable development education have made a long term positive impact on science education in terms of the development of student values and attitudes.