This summer, as soon as the school holidays started, the TRC-Institute of ECE conducted its first course for member schools. The course, titled ‘Active Learning’ ran from June 2 – 13 2008. A total of 20 participants, from 5 different private schools participated in this 10-day, 50 hour long course.
Over the 10 days, we discussed child development theories, research on brain development and the High/Scope approach to active learning. A major focus was to introduce teachers to the National Curriculum for ECE (MoE, GoP 2007); in groups they worked on activities to implement the six Key learning Areas, in their classrooms. They also learnt how to set up the learning environment for young active learners and how to observe, assess and support children’s development.
Through brainstorming, group work and discussions teachers understood the importance of active learning and Developmentally Appropriate Practices in the early years. Teachers responded enthusiastically to the variety of methods that were both discussed and applied through individual activities, games, case studies, lectures and role-play. All the participants were so enthused that they didn’t mind “working” during their summer break, and unanimously remarked that the 50 hours/10 days had flown by without them really noticing it!
We quote Rizwana, a participant from Head Start Clifton who came to TRC for an associate membership so that she could learn more:
” I attended the workshop on Active Learning in June 2008. I am a Montessori trained teacher and was applying the Montessori method on children earlier. After gaining knowledge about active learning, I felt more organized. Children are learning and working with materials with added interest through this approach. It is a good experience. Thank you TRC for making me a better equipped ECE teacher.”
We have good news for those who wish to attend this course. It will be repeated next year in June 2009.