The Hospital Pedagogy has compensatory function. It offers the training and help that the child can not receive, for medical reasons, in school together with all his / her classmates.
They are therefore the teachers in charge of the hospital classrooms who, adapting to the individual needs of each child, using methodologies and infrastructures different from those of a usual classroom of a public or private center, those that teach in hospitals.
These are the ones that give the possibility for the children who are hospitalized to continue learning, so that the incorporation into school and routine, after their recovery, is as positive, pleasant and quick as possible.
In this article we will define what the “Hospital Classrooms” are, what is the function of their teachers, how is their operation at present and what is the use of ICT within the hospital pedagogy.
What are the classrooms of hospital pedagogy?
Hospital Classrooms are the school units located in hospitals. These have the function of attending to the educational needs of hospitalized children that are covered by the Law on the social integration of the handicapped.
The function of these classrooms is to attend and support, from the educational field, children who are admitted to the hospital during a certain time. This income can be due to various diseases such as psychological disorders, broken bones, various operations, among others.
We can characterize these classrooms as pleasant places that have open, cheerful and flexible infrastructures to solve the needs of all children, in addition to being in a quiet, pleasant and stable environment.
However, as in any educational process, the hospital classrooms also propose priority objectives that must be met during their performance. Some of them are, for example, the following:
- Propose activities according to the circumstances and needs of the child.
- Integrate the child in the educational level to which it corresponds.
- Maintain direct contact with the center from which the student comes.
In short, the function of a hospital classroom is to avoid the negative consequences that may result from the child’s stay in the hospital.
Therefore, from the literature, it is pointed out that for the psychological perspective the function of the hospital classrooms is to psychologically support the physical recovery of children, showing, for this, a therapeutic vision, since the child can become sociable, among many other benefits.
What do teachers do in the hospital classrooms?
The teachers who teach in the hospital classrooms are characterized as sensitive and warm people who perform their function in this context. Its main role, as we have mentioned before, is to solve the needs that children show.
These needs can begin at the same instant in which the influence of the disease itself affects the child’s state of mind, causing anxiety, demotivation and boredom, among others.
In addition, it should foster an ideal climate where there is an exchange of experiences among children who frequent the classroom. This will make your stay a pleasant time, avoiding the possibility that they miss the presence of some people belonging to their closest context, such as their parents.
Therefore, the teacher has the task of establishing a positive relationship with the family, where there is good communication, which is continuous and permanent, since the family must inform the child’s level and obtain information about the child’s progress.
How is the methodology of work?
The methodologies of work in the hospital classrooms is different from what is usually used in any ordinary classroom. However, something essential is that, at all times, you must have the physical conditions that students have.
Your state of health is paramount, because if you are well you can move to the place, learn and have fun. On the contrary, it would be necessary to adapt to another work methodology so that the teacher moves the training of this child to the room in which he / she is admitted.
In the first place, we must point out that the methodology must be flexible and individualized, which starts from the interests and knowledge of the child. Considering the physical situation of the child, as we have mentioned before, a methodology or another will be carried out.
Second, the methodology has group activities, in most cases, however, you can work individually, taking into account the characteristics of the child in question, since there are diseases that must keep the child isolated.
Third, the timing of the activities is subject to the calendar of the ordinary school and the reality of the hospital is adapted.
Fourth, the material resources that are used are also the same as those used in the school. These are, for example, tables, chairs and blackboards, among others.
Finally, in fifth place, the evaluation must begin before carrying out the educational intervention. The child should be given an initial evaluation to know the level from which he or she departs and how we should act to offer help.
However, this will not be the only evaluation that will be carried out since during the process a continuous evaluation will be carried out that will take into account the results that the child will obtain.
It will have an observational nature, since the work that the child is doing will be evaluated. And, also, an evaluation of the program will be carried out to propose improvements, taking into account the benefits it has brought to the child and the difficulties that have implied implementing it.
The current situation of the hospital classrooms
Currently hospital classrooms, which emerged to alleviate the needs posed by society at times when children were hospitalized for a long time, are indispensable places in the infrastructure of a hospital.
For this reason, there are numerous hospital classrooms that are distributed throughout Spanish hospitals, and each one works in a different way. However, the objectives and work methodology are usually similar, since at the beginning of the course all the teaching team must meet to establish the objectives that will be pursued during the course.
The possibility of carrying out a good project for children who are hospitalized includes other factors, of which we have spoken before, the family and the state of health in which it is found. These factors influence the recovery of the child and, in turn, also have an impact on the possibility that the child goes to the hospital classroom in a positive or negative attitude.
Parents can influence the mood of children and, in the same way, encourage their participation in the game and in the activities proposed to continue learning outside of routine classrooms.
However, there are situations in which parents influence negatively, because overprotection can play an important role by creating the rejection of the child to these places, as they feel helpless.
At present, the groups to which the hospital classrooms provide their services are to children:
- Of short hospitalization: Stay of less than fifteen days.
- Of average stay: Between fifteen days and a month.
- Long hospitalization: More than a month.
- Attended during the day.
- In room.
Therefore, attending to these groups, we must point out that the educational project carried out in the center of the child must be carried out. Therefore, the hospital classroom teacher should maintain that contact that is required with the school from which the child comes.
Through tools such as ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) they receive continually the opportune information to support the child. And it is in this exchange of information that the work of the parents must be given to increase this contact and support it.
The use of ICT in hospital classrooms
There are numerous authors that provide the presence of ICT in hospital classrooms. Using this tool, as a resource, means eliminating the barriers that hospitalized children find themselves when they can not go voluntarily to the hospital classroom.
The use of ICT involves opening the possibilities to three relevant factors: academic-formative, psychosocial and communication. Using new technologies through computer resources such as computers and tablets implies the possibility of normalization in the lives of children.
Through these means they can access content related to leisure focused on education, contact their closest environment (family, friends, etc.). In the words of Serrano and Prendes (2015),
“In this way it is possible to attenuate the feeling of separation and isolation they suffer from the usual environment. On the other hand, the affective and social development of the child can be favored, promoting the expression and communication of the hospitalized students, being also an excellent opportunity to develop skills in the technical use of these media “.
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In view of the aforementioned, we can point out that there are real situations where ICT have been put into practice. In the words of Prendes, Sánchez and Serrano (2012), some of the most relevant national experiences have been:
- WORLD OF STARS (Virgen del Rocío University Hospital (Seville): Project initiated by the Andalusian Health Service, within the program of Integral Attention to the Hospitalized Child, with the objective of playful learning through the use of games and the use of computers. For this purpose, interaction through videoconferences between several hospital classrooms is encouraged.
- BASIC EDUCATION TRAINING AND MONITORING ACTIONS, DIGITAL VIGO(Vigo): In this project, the “Digital Hospital Classroom” platform is created to facilitate the continuity of the child’s education. In this way, children can carry out activities through the platform and the digital whiteboard can be used for it. Being a virtual platform, this can be taken anywhere from where you can access a computer support, as is the case of tablets, being able to use from the room in which it is entered.
- TELEDUCATION IN HOSPITAL CLASSROOMS (Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports): The Ministry proposes this project for twenty-nine national hospital classrooms with the aim of providing the necessary tools to promote the ideal teaching-learning space, which encourages the elimination of barriers. It began in 1997 and is based on providing the hospital staff with the necessary technical equipment for the creation of a support network where communication is enhanced.
- EDUCALIA PROJECT (Caixa Project): This is a computer portal where educational resources can be obtained for compulsory educational stages such as early childhood education, primary education and secondary education. It is focused, especially, on creating playful learning environments.
- MURCIA PEQUESALUD (Hospital de la Arrixaca, Murica): This is an online portal, with purely playful content, which can only be accessed from the hospital itself.
- WEB TECA COORPORATIVA: It is a communication network maintained by teachers, from where they can offer and obtain information for their daily practice.
- ES: It is a virtual space with a repository of useful resources for teachers, from where they can coordinate with other teams. This material aims to accumulate information and provide content to the entire community.
- ONLINE CLASSROOM: It is a portal that provides information, from a safe environment, to hospitalized children, their families, their friends, the educational team and the healthcare team.