Concept by: Petra Candida Mundy
The global objective of preschool education is to enable children to develop qualities, abilities, and values which will help them survive and thrive in the community as well as in mainstream education. But how is that possible in a system where success is largely measured by progress in subjects and academic skills?
This course will encourage you to look at infant education from a holistic perspective, concerned with the development of every child’s intellectual, emotional, social, physical, artistic, creative and spiritual potentials.
After considering practical ways of adapting current teaching methodology and mainstream materials to become more humanistic, relevant and engaging, participants will have the chance to create a project for their school that incorporates the holistic principles they have acquired.
The course will help the participants to understand how to:
- Encourage personal and collective responsibility.
- Develop Higher Order Thinking Skills in infants
- Teach and learn resilience to overcome difficulties
- Assess and evaluate ‘soft skills’
- Tackle negative interaction patterns and attitudes
- Incorporate values and ethics into preschool
- Connect infant education with the wider community
The schedule describes likely activities but may differ significantly based on the requests of the participants, and the trainer delivering the specific session. Course modifications are subject to the trainer’s discretion. If you would like to discuss a specific topic, please indicate it at least 4 weeks in advance.
Day 1 – Course introduction & Setting goals
- Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities.
- Icebreaker activities using drama for trust and ensemble building.
- Identification of needs and goals for each participant and relevant populations.
- An overview of holistic preschool theory will be contrasted with the participants’ day-today reality. After an analysis of what makes a safe, comforting environment at preschool, we will look at practical ways to add elements of creativity and critical-thinking to your daily routines.
- Presentations of the participants’ schools.
Day 2 – Student autonomy
Positive relationships, values and social skills should suffuse the whole infant education process. We will look at how to implement the corners system to encourage autonomy and good decision making, along with classroom activities which encourage positive behaviour.
Day 3 – Planning is key
Difficulties in preschool are often predictable and preventable. We will see how good planning and vision can avoid these issues occurring in the first place. Then we will look at the importance of incorporating imagination, role play and physical activity into classroom activities.
Day 4 – Assessing progress
All educative processes need to be transparent and evaluable. Here we will look at how to assess progress in attitudes and procedures as well as in content knowledge and debate how to share your vision with parents and the wider educative community.
Day 5 – Put it to the test & Course closure
Put it to the test
Today we will develop a project which applies your learning on this course with your own situation. You will practice presenting this project to your colleagues before taking it back to present at your schools.
- Course evaluation: round up of acquired competences, feedback, and discussion;
- Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
Day 6 – Excursion
Excursion and other external cultural activities.
- Early childhood educators
- Infant teachers
- Preschool directors and coordinators