This article sums up experience from research into educational work with pupils admitted to gymnasiums*) from the 8th grade of the Elementary Nine-Year School. The research has shown the necessity of determining the appropriate content of classroom instruction, and in this respect the correctness of adjustments in the curriculum and syllabus for gymnasiums has been verified. It has also been verified that in choosing the methods and forms of educational work it is necessary to take account of the age characteristics of these pupils and to be more consistent in applying certain didactic principles resulting from their characteristic traits. What especially comes to the forefront are the principles of individual approach, of conscious activity, the requirements for unity of the concrete and the abstract, for linking up theory with practice, and also the principle of the process of the acquisition of knowledge being continually checked up on. The educational process as a whole must be permeated by the demand for reasonably high standards and purposefulness.
The research has shown that if there is a good selection of fourteen-year-olds for study, if the content of classroom instruction is appropriately determined and if suitable methods of educational work are used, the prescribed curriculum can be mastered by pupils who are one year younger. It will be possible to use the results of the research in further improving the quality of educational work with these pupils now that an ever-increasing number of 8th grade pupils are being admitted to gymnasiums and also in the experimental verification of the gymnasium’s new conception and curriculum and its general introduction.
*) A gymnasium in Czechoslovakia is a four-year senior secondary school of an academic type where until recently only 15-year-old pupils were adniitted after having completed all the 9 grades of the Elementary Nine-Year School. It corresponds roughly to Senior High Schools in the U. S. A. or to the upper forms of the Grammar School in Britain. (Translator’s note.)