PILOTING 1 in NGO “Mālpils tautskola”, Latvia
First cook experience for 6 SN people
Before the course we prepared all necessary theoretical materials, the room and the necessary equipment as well as did the personal preparation work with the participants of the course and their families informing them about the content of the course.
We started our lessons and training for a group of 6 young SN people with different mental disabilities on 10th of January. We offer them lessons mostly in culinary art, a little from the restaurant services. Teachers are D.Kursīte and G.Jēkabsone, who took part in the first JTE in Italy. They both have many years experience in a VET school, but this was the first time for them to work with SN people.
On the first day we filled out the questionaires about the students’ expectations from the offered course. Every week after the lessons we meet with the teachers directly or discuss the course in our Whatsapp group, share the new experience also with the leading persons of our local partner – NGO for disabled people and their supporters. Our teachers use very intensively visual methods: illustration and demonstration are the most used methods that work really good, as almost all students cannot read.
The main document for cook is recipe or technological card. The first recepies we prepared was simple ones,- with some pictures of ingredients and one picture of the ready dish. But it doesn’t worked, as some students do not read at all, they needed assitance all the time. Therefore we prepared special Technological cards with operational steps.
The “4-steps-model” works well for our students.
We followed the phases of this methodology:
- preparation and tutor-explanation
- demonstration and tutor-explanation
- replication and student-explanation
- consolidation by correct practicing
We showed cards, asked them, do they recognize all ingredients, let them decide by themselves what to do next and assited all the time in every step. Some did very well, but some students tired very quickly. Now, at the end of May, we can speak already about the first testing of the skills and abilities. We discussed with our students the learned topics and they could choose one recipe to prepare without assistance.
The first test results
>> Students are excited of ability to work by themselves
>> The picture in recipe should much with the real product we have bought or have in the kitchen
>> Assistance needed working with scales
>> Some students are afraid from oven or stove
After almost 5 months of the Piloting process students are eager to learn, they are waiting for the next lesson with excitement. It stimulates us to do the best to make their lifes more interesting by teaching them the skills they need not only for finding the job but also for the living. We started from the simpliest recipies, but will go on with more complicated ones, when we will see that they are ready and a couple of students from the group already are.