SNC-ECCE-Creativity

    1.  GUIDELINES FOR ESTABLISHING A CONDUCIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT FOR ECCE

Young children learn by interacting with their environment, with other children, and with adults. Learning is an active and creative process in which children are working on making sense of the world around them. We need to give them the opportunity to engage in this process purposefully and actively, by using all five senses and their imagination. A wide range of experiences and activities provide children with the opportunity to develop their knowledge, skills and attitudes in a meaningful way.

An ECCE environment is a whole formed by physical, psychological and social elements. It includes the built facilities, the immediate neighbourhood, and psychological and social setting and also the materials and equipment. A ‘rich’ and flexible environment is conducive to learning, and attracts interest and curiosity in children and encourages them to experiment, act and therefore, extremely important for teachers to  provide  a stimulating, pleasant environment for the children.

Conventional furniture, such as desks, is inappropriate  for  young  children.  If  resources allow, then small, child-sized furniture items can be purchased or else a  darri  (rug)  will suffice. A central place will  be  required,  where  the  children  can  come  together  for Greeting Circle, Group Work, Planning/Review Time and Story Time.

      1. Creating Learning Corners (GOSHAY)

 

Young children look for causal links in their experiences. For example; what happens when they pile up 20 blocks on top of each other, or what happens when they drop a pencil into a tub of water or what happens when they move a pencil or crayon on a flat surface, such as a wall, slate or paper? They need opportunities to explore these situations and come to their own conclusions. Their conclusions, however, may differ from an adult’s as they are based on limited experience. Having designated areas or learning corners for specific activities and storage of classroom equipment is an efficient and effective way of organizing, and optimizing children’s learning experiences. Learning corners encourage children to learn in ways that are natural to them; they allow children to work independently, in small groups or one-on-one with the teacher. Learning Corners provide for a wide range of abilities and interests where children can progress at their own rate and repeat an activity for pleasure or reinforcement. Learning corners encourage children to be independent, make decisions and solve problems. They foster experimentation, curiosity and creativity.

These corners are ideal work spaces for children where they can learn in simulated real-life situations. Working in different corners helps develop children’s ability to:

        • Take initiative; make choices and decisions about what they are going to do (i.e. plan) and how they are going to do it.
        • Complete self-chosen tasks and review their plans.
        • Question, experiment, discover and make sense of the world around them.
        • Work, share and cooperate with other children, thereby developing their social skills.

 

        • Work independently towards mastery of different skills.
        • Conform and adhere to classroom rules.
        • Reason and express themselves in a wide range of naturally occurring situations, thereby building their self-confidence.

Learning corners need to be separated from each other. They also need space, such as low shelves or boxes/cartons to store the materials, books and toys  for  the  various  corners. Three or more of the following learning corners can be set up at any given time:

        • Language Corner: This corner should be equipped with material related to increasing vocabulary and learning reading skills.
        • Library Corner: This corner should be set up with age appropriate big and small colourful books to promote the reading habit and to learn how to care for and value books.
        • Art Corner: This corner provides children with opportunities for creative expression.
        • Math Corner: Appropriate material for the Math corner includes objects that will help children grasp basic math concepts of size, shape, width, classification and number through direct experimentation.
        • Science Corner: This corner should provide children with opportunities for observation and experimentation in order to understand the world around them.
        • Home Corner: The home corner should reflect the cultural background of the children where various kitchen utensils, clothes, small furniture and dolls can be provided. From a kitchen it can be later transformed into a shop, office or a doctor’s clinic.

The Learning Corners should be organized in the context of the Key Learning Areas and Expected Learning Outcomes, so that children have the opportunity to experiment with concepts and skills that have been introduced by the teacher.

      1. The Daily Routine of an ECCE Classroom

 

Young children need the comfort and security of a daily routine. They need to know what to expect during the school day.  A  daily  routine  provides  a  consistent,  predictable sequence of events that gives them a sense of control over what they will be doing during the day. To make optimal use of the valuable time young children spend  in  school,  a schedule needs to be made. The teacher’s  tasks  become  more  focused  and  relatively easier to follow if a  consistent  routine  is  established,  and  children  also  get  used  to working in an organized and methodical way. A daily routine is important because it:

        • Makes children feel secure when they know what to expect.
        • Creates an organized environment that is conducive to the learning process.
        • Helps children learn about sequencing.
        • Helps children understand the concept of the passage of time.
        • Helps teachers organize themselves.
        • Helps children realise that an activity has to be completed within a set time-frame.

 

A sample daily routine and explanation is given below. It can be varied depending on the school’s hours and needs. The daily routine should be displayed using symbols/pictures for each activity, so that children, who are not yet reading can understand it.

 

S no.

Activity

Suggested Duration

01

Dua/National Anthem

15 minutes

02

Greeting Circle

15 minutes

03

Group Work Time

40 minutes

04

Outside Time

30 minutes

05

Snack Time

30 minutes

06

Plan-Work-Clean up Review

  • Planning Time
  • Work/Gosha Time
  • Clean-Up Time
  • Review Time

90 minutes

15 minutes

45 minutes

10 minutes

20 minutes

07

Story and Rhyme Time

20 minutes

  1. Dua/National Anthem:   All the children get together to say a small

prayer and sing the National Anthem. This can be done along with the rest of the school or a separate assembly can be held for the 4-5 year olds. It is essential to consider alternatives or inclusive prayers for children of minority religions.

  1. Greeting Circle: This is the time of day when the  teacher  gathers  all  the  children together and greets them with a warm welcome by saying ‘Assalam-u-Alaikum’, ‘Good morning’, how are you? I am glad to see you here. Then the teacher will initiate general discussion that will include date, day,  weather  of  the  day,  sharing  what  they  did  at home the previous day. The teacher can  utilise  this  time  to  inculcate  moral  values among children for example being truthful, respectful,  patient,  tolerant,  fair,  just  and polite. The teacher  can  also  help  children  develop  democratic  and  problem-solving skills by putting issues in front of the kids and seeking their suggestions to resolve it.
  2. Group Work Time: During this segment of the daily routine, the teacher discusses concepts from the different Key Learning Areas, with all the children. Once the concept has been discussed, the teacher forms small groups and gives children activities to work on. The activities done at this time are planned and initiated and facilitated by the teacher.
  3. Outside Time: This is the time for physical education exercises. The teacher can plan a series of bending, stretching, jumping and balancing activities for children’s physical development. Equipment, such as large balls for catching and throwing, old tyres for walking in and out of, and medium-sized boxes for jumping over can also be used. Children will play on swings and slides, merry-go-round, and games like see-saw under the supervision of the teacher. This is also a time to discuss safety rules, such as making queues, avoiding pushing and taking turns.
  4. Snack Time: A lot of valuable learning can take place if children have their snacks indoors in an organised way, under the teacher’s guidance. Children will be asked to wash their hands before snack time. They can learn to spread the darri/dastarkhawn/mat and sit around it, giving each other  space  without  pushing. They can say “Bismillah” or as per thier religion together and share their snack if someone has not brought their own. This is a good time to reinforce the importance of clean, boiled water and healthy food brought from home. The children can talk about the different kinds of food, healthy eating, learn to pour water without spilling, and clean up when everyone has finished.

 

  1. Plan – Work – Clean up – Review Time
    1. Planning Time: Planning should be done in the central space on the darri/mat.  This is the time of day when children have the opportunity to initiate the activity and take responsibility for their own learning. During planning time,  children  plan  which Learning Corners they would like to work in, and what they hope to accomplish there. It is important to allow children to choose the learning corner/gosha themselves, and to encourage them to make their own decisions about what they will do there.
    2. Work/Gosha Time: During this time, children carry out their plans in the learning

corners. In consultation and through discussion with the children, teachers should set some ground rules at the beginning of the year and discuss these frequently with them. For example: sharing and taking turns with the material; sharing materials and being considerate; talking very softly in all the corners, especially in the reading corner; listening and responding to the set signal when the time for learning corner /gosha work is finished; and tidying up and returning material to the designated place at the sound of the signal.

    1. Clean-up Time: When the pre-determined clean-up signal is given by the teacher,

children must tidy up and return the material they were using to  their  designated places.

    1. Review Time: Children come back to the central space on the mat/darri and talk

about their learning corner/goshas work and whether they accomplished their plans for the day. Reviewing is a very important part of children’s planning and working. There will be some children who may not have implemented their plans. They should be supported to identify reasons for this, by asking open-ended questions and letting them arrive at the answers. Where there are too many children in a class, this will undoubtedly be difficult; the teacher should ensure that each child gets the opportunity to review her/his work at least twice a week.

    1. Story and Rhyme Time: This time is set aside for storytelling and for songs and

poems with actions. The children or the teacher can choose a book from the reading corner for story time. Children should be encouraged to tell stories that they have heard at home or in school or make their own stories.

    1. GUIDELINES FOR DEVELOPING CRITERION OF ASSESSMENT

Research indicates that formal tests and examinations are not at all accurate when measuring young children’s abilities. Many children do not perform well  in  situations where they have to answer specific questions or complete specific tasks because they may not be familiar with the testing language, they may be shy or frightened  in  a  new situation, or they may be tired, bored, upset or unwell on the day of the test. When a child does not do well on a test for any of these reasons, a teacher may attach a negative, inaccurate label (she/he is weak, lazy, dull) to that child which is then difficult to replace and can be harmful for the child’s development.

Tests usually suggest that we compare one child’s score with another’s, which is inappropriate for children particularly, young children. This comparison is meaningless because children develop at their own individual and unique pace. This scoring and comparison may be harmful to children whose score is low, because they may be made to feel like ‘failures’ when, in fact, their development is normal and will soon catch up with the others.

Children’s progress should  be  measured  by  the  teacher’s  on-going  observations  during the entire year. Their progress should be compared to their own previous  level  of development and not to that of other children. The results of evaluating a child’s progress should be used to plan the future learning programme for the ECCE classroom.

 

      1. Child Assessment and Record Keeping

 

Throughout the day, ECCE teachers will have to observe children as they participate in different activities. Sometimes they can stand back to observe, but more often they will be involved in the activities with the children.

This is a skill that teachers have to develop, to be actively involved, picking up cues from the children and at the same time observing each individual child. What is the teacher supposed to look for? The teacher observes and assesses the different areas of learning and development.

The following methods of assessment and record keeping are strongly recommended:

  1. Checklist of Children’s Progress

 

For each child, teachers should maintain a checklist of the Expected Learning Outcomes which are given in the section on Key Learning  Areas.  Any  special  comments  and anecdotes the teacher may have about a child must be recorded there.

  1. Portfolio of Children’s Work

 

Teachers should also maintain each child’s art work, literacy and numeracy related worksheets in their individual folders. Each sheet will have the child’s name, and date the work was done, written clearly on it. The portfolio will aid the teacher in assessing the progress children have made in their art work, writing, and understanding of numeracy related concepts.

  1. Progress Report for Parents

 

The teacher should meet parents in school to discuss the child’s progress in class or send the progress report home. This report will be based on the Expected Learning Outcomes. The teacher should fill in  the  progress  report,  twice  a  year,  using  the  portfolio  and monthly checklist as a base, to support  her/his  evaluations.  From  their  observations, monthly checklists and portfolios, teachers can  assess  each  child’s  progress.  When progress is recorded regularly and efficiently,  the  teacher  builds  up  a  comprehensive picture of each child. The process of recording helps the teacher to be aware of all areas of the child’s learning and development.

    1. GUIDELINES FOR EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF QUALITY ECCE
      1. Essentials for Developing Teachers’ Guide

 

“The teacher of little children is not merely giving lessons. She is helping to make a brain and nervous system, and this work which is going to determine all that comes after, requires a finer perception and a wider training and outlook than is needed by any other kind of teacher.”

Margaret McMillan ( 1930)

 
   

ECCE teachers need to have certain essential attributes such as gentleness, thoughtfulness, effective interpersonal skills (patience, tolerance, and effective communication) and a generally positive and caring attitude. They need to possess or develop specialized skills to engage with very young children effectively. A teacher’s guide can help teachers to understand their task and accomplish it professionally.

 

 

A) Format and Suggested Content

 

It is crucial that the developers of the Teachers’ Guide are familiar with the Single National Curriculum for ECCE and that this document is attached as an appendix to the Teachers’ Guide. All ECCE teachers must be well versed in the contents of the NCECCE.

It would be most effective to have the Teacher’s Guide in Urdu. This is necessary as these concepts will be new to most teachers, so it is important that the ECCE teachers understand the content and the concepts contained in the Teacher’s Guide.

SECTION I: KEY COMPETENCIES FOR ECCE TEACHERS

 

This section will describe the key competencies that are essential for ECCE teachers. ECCE teachers need to have specific knowledge, skills and attitudes for the effective implementation of the SNC ECCE. It is important for them to know what these basic competencies are, also that they can reflect and assess themselves and then work on their own professional growth. Some basic competencies are  given  below;  these  should  be further elaborated on, in the ECCE Teachers Guide. (In line with  Minimum  Learning Standards for Quality Education in Pakistan, 2009)

Knowledge: Teachers need to possess comprehensive  knowledge  and  understanding about the following:

        • Knowledge and understanding of child development from zero to eight.
        • Theories of learning and methods of teaching.
        • Family Structures and the role of parents, families and communities in shaping children’s development.
        • Knowledge and understanding of active learning and the value of play.
        • Services available within the community to get support for the development of children.
        • Knowledge and understanding of pro-social behaviour.
        • The Single National Curriculum for ECCE.
        • Knowledge of catering differently-abled children.

Skills: Teachers need to have the following skills to function effectively as early childhood teachers:

        • Pedagogical skills to facilitate the learning process of young children such as, engaging them in group work, organizing discussions, and a variety of play activities, asking meaningful questions, handling children’s responses, and facilitating them during outdoor play.
        • Skills for developing and organizing learning resources including displays, manipulative material, worksheets, charts, and posters.
        • Skills for observing children and documenting the observations, maintaining children’s progress record and developing progress reports.
        • Communication and presentation skills to effectively engage with children, parents, families, communities and other services related to early childhood development.
        • Counselling skills to work with parents and children regarding their learning.
        • Independent learning skills for engaging self in an on-going process of learning.
        • Develop Conflict management skills among children and colleagues and handle behavioural issues.
        • Possess skills to dealing with differently able children.

 

Attitudes: Teachers must realise the importance of relationships for holistic development in early childhood, and the attitudes required for developing a warm, caring and trusting relationship with children and their families. Teachers need to ensure that their

 

interaction with children and their families demonstrates the following aspects:

        • Respect for children’s abilities and the wealth of knowledge, skills and individual potential they possess.
        • Care and consideration for all children.
        • Patience while interacting with children/parents/families and responding to their questions, requests and concerns.
        • Unbiased and non-judgmental dealing with all children and their parents.
        • Appreciation and acknowledgment of diversity.
        • Pro-activity in identifying, exploring and accessing services available in the community for children.
        • Willingness to reach out to parents and families to build relationships with them for the effective learning and development of children.
        • Willingness to engage self in a continuous process of learning in a variety of ways.
        • Acceptance for children with different abilities.
SECTION II: EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT

 

This section will help teachers to understand the basic concepts of early childhood development under two key themes;

  1. Holistic Child Development, and
  2. Early Childhood Development and Relationship Building.
Holistic Child Development

 

This theme will help teachers to understand the key aspects of early childhood development. The following points need to be incorporated and elaborated on, in the text:

        • Developmental milestones of children aged 0-8. All the developmental domains, such as, physical, cognitive/intellectual, emotional, social and moral development must be included.
        • Brain development in the early years and its importance and implications for designing early learning experiences.
        • The role of schools, parents and communities in children’s development

 

Early Childhood Development and Relationship Building

 

This theme will elaborate on the importance of relationship building and ways of building positive relationships in the early years. It is recommended that the text of this theme should incorporate some basic and simple research findings. Key points around which this theme will be developed are:

        • The importance of bonding and healthy relationships for optimal development in early childhood.
        • Building healthy, positive relationships with children.
        • The importance of nurturing pro-social behaviour among siblings and peers.
        • Understanding the underlying causes of problem behaviour.
        • Understanding the reasons for social conflict in the classroom and learning conflict resolution strategies.

 

SECTION III:KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING OF THE NATIONAL CURRICULUM FOR ECCE

 

This section will help teachers to understand the key features of the National Curriculum for ECCE

Key features of the ECCE National Curriculum

        • The philosophy and objectives.
        • The importance of play in children’s learning.
        • Key Learning Areas and their importance.
        • Expected Learning Outcomes (ELOs) and their importance.
        • Using the ELOs as guideposts for designing classroom activities.
        • Teaching and learning approaches.
        • Organization of the learning environment and the daily routine.
        • The assessment framework.
SECTION IV: UNDERSTANDING LEARNING AND THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

 

This section will help teachers to build their understanding about the overall teaching and learning approach, and the learning environment proposed for ECCE classes. This section will be organized under three themes:

  1. Learning and teaching for the early years
  2. Learning activities
  3. The learning environment. Ideas will be presented in detail using text, graphics and pictures to aid understating.
Learning and Teaching for the Early Years

 

This theme will highlight the following important points:

        • Learning in the early years; explaining the key points about natural learning processes.
        • An Active Learning Approach: Understanding active learning, its importance and how it is different from traditional approaches to learning in schools. Ways  of  involving children in an active learning process, with examples. Understanding the ‘plan work - clean review’ cycle, its importance and implementation. Involving children in free play and exploration activities and organizing hands-on experiences for children in all learning areas. Involving children in discussion, role-play, creative thinking, questioning and problem solving.
        • Dealing with diversity in the class; concepts of learning styles learning differences and multiple intelligences. Explaining that each child is unique in terms of his/her social and cultural background, developmental milestones, experiences and learning potential.
        • Ways of creating an inclusive ECCE class. The attitude and skills required by an ECCE teacher to engage with individual children as per their needs.

 

Learning Activities

 

It is suggested that under this theme  various  learning  activities  may  be  added  for classroom use:

        • Examples of learning activities should be arranged according to the learning areas, so that teachers can use them easily to link with various Expected Learning Outcomes. The ideas presented here will be useful for planning their lessons and to design their own activities.
        • Besides suggesting activities under various learning areas, teachers should be given an understanding of how to design integrated lessons. Examples need to clearly

 

demonstrate how one learning activity can contribute towards the achievement of number of different ELOs.

Learning Environment

 

This theme will provide detailed guidelines to teachers for setting up their classroom in terms of space and time according to the principles of quality ECCE practice. It is recommended that this section should be supported with many good quality photographs of a variety of creative classroom arrangements in different contexts with  different resource constraints. These visuals will help teachers to understand the possibilities of different types of classroom floor plans and will offer them options to choose for their own classrooms. The theme will explain the following essential aspects of the learning environment.

        • The term ‘Learning Environment’ and what constitutes the learning environment in an ECCE classroom, including the physical, social and emotional environments.
        • Key features of an ECCE classroom and its physical features, such as, cleanliness, light, ventilation, seating (age appropriate and child  friendly  furniture),  kinds  of  material needed, placement of materials, accessibility of materials by children and safety aspects in the classroom. This part will also present different ideas for arranging the classroom.
        • Creating Learning Corners (Goshay): This theme will help teachers understand the basic ideas about learning corners, the objectives behind setting up learning corners, their importance and the materials required for each corner and how to use them effectively.
        • Classroom display: This part will help teachers understand the importance of classroom displays in ECCE classes, and give them ideas on how to involve children in classroom displays. Some creative and attractive displays regarding different concepts such as photographs, children’s art work, key messages, letter of the day are recommended for different learning areas
        • Classroom Management Techniques: Classroom  norms  and  responsibility  chart  should be developed with children’s consent and reviewed regularly and displayed in the room. Message of the day or a week should be practiced regularly and to be displayed in the classroom.
        • Daily Routine: To make optimal use of the valuable time young children spend in school, teachers will be familiarized with the importance of a consistent daily  routine  and shown some examples of daily routine scheduling. An explanation of routines and the importance of flexibility to meet children’s spontaneous needs will be stressed.
        • Classroom Management Checklist: This part will provide a handy sample checklist to teachers to  assess  their  own  classroom  environment  and  its  appropriateness  for quality ECCE practice.
SECTION V: ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION

 

In order to change classroom practice, it is essential to bring about changes in understanding of assessment as part of the teaching process. This section is recommended to help the teachers to understand the following:

        • Focus of assessment: This part will explain the purpose of assessment in an early years’ classroom.
        • Observation as a tool for assessment: This part will  highlight  the  importance  of observation as an effective tool for assessment  and  provide  teachers  with  guidance about when, how and what to record during observations.
        • Use of checklist for assessment: This section will help teachers to understand checklist, and how to create, administer and analyse checklists.

 

        • Portfolio   of   children’s   work:   This   section   will

introduce the concept of portfolios to teachers and will explain its importance for assessment in the early years. It will also guide teachers on how to maintain a portfolio.

        • Progress report for parents:

This part will help teachers to know the importance of progress reports, creative and appropriate formats, ideas and important points for writing comments and effective ways to share the reports with parents.

SECTION VI: THE IMPORTANCE OF PLANNING

 

This section will explain the following points:

        • The importance of planning before a lesson:
        • Planning schedules: yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly, daily
        • Characteristics of a good planning process and planning document
        • Planning a day for young learners
        • Elements of flexibility and adaptation in the plan to cater to the needs, interest and moods of children
    • GUIDELINES FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE TEACHERS’ GUIDE
  1. PLANNING

 

  1. Forming a team by identifying people with good writing skills. The team of writers must include people with the relevant experience (practitioners) of working at the ECCE/Primary level. They should also have a deep understanding of teacher education and adult learning.
  2. Reading and understanding the National ECCE Curriculum and this section on the development of the Teachers’ Guide.
  3. Meeting with the curriculum development team to understand the philosophy and principles on which the National ECCE curriculum is based, and to clarify the aspects of the curriculum which are unclear to the writers.
  4. Understanding and reviewing the suggested format for the guidebook, and finalizing the format and procedures for writing.
  5. Deciding the roles and responsibilities of each team member, dividing the work and setting deadlines.
  6. Forming a review team.
  1. DEVELOPING

 

  1. Producing initial, individual drafts as per decisions taken at the planning level.
  2. Reviewing the drafts and existing relevant documents.
  3. Soliciting feedback from the review team.
  4. Incorporating the feedback and revising the initial drafts.
  1. PILOTING

 

  1. Sharing the complete draft with teachers in public and private schools and in teacher training colleges.
  2. Sharing key areas with them in which feedback is required, such as language of the guidebook, format of the book, missing content and clarity of ideas presented in the guidebook.
  3. Meeting with the people piloting the guidebook, and collecting data on  their experiences.

 

  1. Asking them to share the areas which they found

difficult or ambiguous or needing greater emphasis.

  1. Reviewing and revising the guidebook in light of feedback from piloting, to develop the final version of the guidebook.
  1. EDITING

 

  1. Getting the services of editors to ensure the accuracy of language and formatting.
  2. Revising the draft further to incorporate the editors’ recommendations.
  1. PUBLISHING

 

  1. Finalizing the details of the layout and graphics.
  2. Composing the book.
  3. Proofreading the composed draft.
  4. Printing of required number of books.
  1. DISSEMINATION

 

1. Ensure the timely distribution of the documents to the teachers, head teachers, principals and education officers.

    1. GUIDELINES FOR DEVELOPING A TEACHER EDUCATORS’/SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ GUIDE

Young children need very skilful and caring facilitation from adults in order to explore their environment and build understanding of it. An adult, who understands children’s potential and possesses an ability to develop trustful relationships with them, can create an environment conducive to nurturing children’s innate potential. At schools, teachers need to have an understanding of the ECCE curriculum besides having a loving and caring attitude. In order to ensure that teachers have the required understanding, skills and attitude to work with young children, they need to be engaged in an on-going process of learning and professional development. The role of teacher educators is to design and implement programmes to facilitate teachers to learn about the basic concepts of Early Childhood Education and Development and build the required skills to work effectively with children. Furthermore, they are responsible for providing adequate support and learning material for ECCE.

      1. Format and Suggested Content

 

It is crucial that the developers of the Teacher Educators’ Guide carefully read and understand:

  1. The National Curriculum for Early Childhood Care and Education
  2. The Teachers’ Guide Book
  3. Sections II-VI of the chapter titled, Essentials for Developing a Teachers’ Guide, in this document

The Teacher Educators’ Guide will be divided into sections which will elaborate aspects that are essential for ECCE teachers to know and understand. These sections will help teacher educators to understand the need, content and design aspects of a professional development programme for ECCE teachers. The following sections are recommended as components of the Teacher Educators’ Guide.

 

      1. Key Competencies for Teacher Educators/School Administrators

 

This section will describe the key competencies essential for  teacher  educators.  It  is essential for all teacher educators to understand  the  competencies  given  below,  so  that they can assess themselves, as well as design professional development programme, in line with the competencies required by the teachers.

 

Teacher Educators assume the important and sensitive responsibility of facilitating teachers to learn and improve their understanding and skills. In order to accomplish their task effectively, they also need to possess a certain level of competence in terms of knowledge, attitudes and skills. These are the key competencies essential for a teacher educator:

KNOWLEDGE

 

Teacher educators need to possess  comprehensive  knowledge  and  understanding  about the following:

        • Theories of Child Development from zero – eight.
        • Brain development research.
        • Theories and methods of child learning and development.
        • Theories and methods of adult learning, support and development.
        • The National curriculum for Early Childhood Care and Education, and ECCE Teachers’ Guides.
        • The Role of parents, care-givers, families and communities in nurturing children.
        • Services and support mechanism available within the community for the development of children.
ASSESSMENT OF TEACHER LEARNING SKILLS

 

        • Andragogic skills to facilitate the learning process of adults.
        • Providing positive reinforcement.
        • Skills for designing, conducting and assessing workshops/seminar/courses for ECCE teachers.
        • Skills for developing resources to support teachers’ learning.
        • Observation skills to assess teachers during workshops/courses and in the classroom.
        • Documentation skills to record observations and maintain records of teachers’ participation and performance.
        • Communication and presentation skills to effectively communicate with teachers.
        • Communication skills to provide constructive feedback to teachers about their performance.
        • Counselling skills to work with teachers and head teachers on a one to one basis for school development.
        • Independent learning skills for engaging self in an ongoing process of learning.
ATTITUDES

 

Teacher educators must realise the importance of building rapport, i.e; a close and harmonious relationship with teachers and groups of teachers, and show concern and understanding of their background and current needs. They need to ensure that their interaction with teachers demonstrates:

        • Respect for the knowledge, skills, experience and individual  potential  possessed  by each teacher.

 

        • Consideration, respect and empathy towards all teachers.
        • Patience while interacting with teachers and responding to their questions, requests, concerns, ideas, and feedback.
        • Unbiased and non-judgmental behaviour in dealing with teachers.
        • Pro-active approach in identifying, exploring and accessing the services available for the support of teachers in the community.
        • Willingness to engage self in a continuous process of learning.
EXPERIENCE

 

It is important for ECCE teacher educators to have the following experiences:

        • Teaching experience at ECCE or primary level classes.
        • Mentoring experience with ECCE or primary level teachers to support their learning.
    • GUIDELINES FOR PLANNING CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (CPD) FOR ECCE TEACHERS

This section will facilitate teacher educators, school administrators, training departments in understanding the important steps they need to undertake in order to design a professional development programme for ECCE teachers:

        • Analysing the needs: Assessing the needs of teachers and understanding their current competencies.
        • Reading    the    Teachers’    Guide    thoroughly:     Before     designing      a professional

development programme for ECCE, it is essential that teacher and educator read the Teachers’ Guides thoroughly, to understand the scope, nature of work and expectations of an ECCE teacher.

        • Forming a team: Relevant Education Department needs to form a team of teacher

educators to design and conduct the programme. The team may include other teacher educators or competent ECCE teachers/head teachers.

        • Developing  a  detailed  plan:  The  training  team  should  design  a  detailed  plan  for

implementation by identifying content, strategies and  activities;  resources  required; and assessment techniques. The Guidebook should contain some sample templates for planning.

        • Collecting/developing  resources:  before  the  programme  commences,  the  team

needs to develop and collect all the required resources for the implementation of the programme.

        • Setting-up  the  room:  The  space  where  the  programme  will  be  run  needs  to  be

properly organized. The implementing team needs to ensure that the space is: o Neat and clean.

          • Well-lit and ventilated.
          • Organised with appropriate and comfortable seating arrangements, drinking water and with clean washroom facilities nearby.
          • Provision of internet connection, multimedia and relevant material that include reference books.
          • Attractive with relevant displays and all other teaching-learning resources at hand.
    • GUIDELINES   FOR    DEVELOPING    CONTENT     OF         ECCE                CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

Most of the content for a professional development programme will be derived from the key competencies described above and will facilitate the teachers to enhance their overall competence level.

 

This section  will  elaborate  on  the  concepts  that

have been given in Sections II – VI of the chapter titled Essentials for Developing a Teachers’ Guide in this document:

        • Section II Early Childhood development: Child Development and Early Childhood Development and Relationship Building.
        • Section III knowledge and Understanding of the National Curriculum for ECCE
        • Section IV Understanding Learning and the Learning Environment: Learning and Teaching for the Early Year, Learning Activities and Learning Environment.
        • Section V Assessment and Evaluation.
        • Section VI Importance of Planning and Reflection.

 

      1. Designing a Teacher Education Programme

 

This section will provide guidelines to teacher educators for the actual design of the programme. A few ideas are  presented  here  which  can  be  further  elaborated  on,  and more ideas added to the guide. Teacher educators can design pre-service or in-service courses/workshops/seminars for teachers, depending on the findings of the need analysis, available time and other context-specific circumstances. Below are the three key approaches which can be used to design a professional development programme. A mix of all three approaches would be greatly beneficial for teachers.

  1. ORGANIZING LEARNING SESSIONS

 

Learning sessions are a key component of any professional development programme. These sessions can be in the form of workshops, seminars, and discussion forums. The main purpose of these sessions is to provide an opportunity to teachers to get together, share ideas and experience and learn about various aspects of their work under the guidance and facilitation of an experienced facilitator. It is recommended to hold cluster wise meeting and assign responsibility to a district education officer to ensure these meetings.

There could be a series of learning sessions at the beginning of any programme related to the basic ideas and then the remainder of the sessions could be spread over a period of time. Weekly sessions and fortnightly seminars can also be organized. In these sessions, teacher educators can engage teachers in a variety of activities related to the components of the programme. Teacher educators need to ensure that their learning sessions demonstrate the following key features:

        • Use of an active learning approach in which teachers are engaged in a variety of activities to explore and understand the various aspects of teaching and learning and an ECCE curriculum. Teachers should not be merely lectured on various topics but they need to be involved in reading, discussions, presentations, simulations, role-play, and debates. They need to be practically engaged in most of the learning approaches or techniques which they are supposed to use in the classroom. This will help them to experience such processes and their impact on learning.
        • Provision of practical, hands-on experiences  to  teachers  during  learning  sessions  in order to help them to develop the skills they will need, such as developing material of ECCE classes, developing plans, demonstrating lessons.
        • A collegial and respectful environment in the sessions so that teachers of varied experiences, qualification and personalities feel  comfortable,  and  can  concentrate  on their own learning, and can also support others to learn.

 

  1. FIELD BASED SUPPORT

 

This approach is used to ensure that the newly trained ECCE teachers get enough support and guidance for the implementation of new ideas in the classroom. The new ECCE

teachers are mentored/coached by the teacher educators or by experienced and skilled teachers already present in the school. Such support may include providing the new ECCE teachers help in planning lessons, observing ECCE class and helping teacher to reflect on the lesson, help teachers in the class to demonstrate and practice specific skills. It may also be used to assist new ECCE teachers in accessing or developing resources. This support is essential as it actually helps the new ECCE teachers to reflect on the issues, identify solutions and move ahead with new ideas. It also makes such teachers enthusiastic and accountable for the implementation of new ideas.

Teacher educators can visit and work with the new teachers in the school on particular days. They can also introduce the following strategies to initiate an on-going process of learning and support within the school:

        • Identifying senior and competent teachers in the school and getting their support for helping new teachers in the field. These teachers can help the new teachers  by planning together, observing each other’s classes, reviewing the work of new teachers and organizing small learning sessions within the school for new teachers.
        • Peer Coaching or encouraging teachers of the same level to work together and to support each other in learning. They can observe each other’s classes, review each other’s material, and do joint planning.
        • Taking help from supervisors in public schools, and guiding them to provide needs-based support to teachers when they visit the schools.

 

  1. ARRANGING & PARTICIPATING IN ON-GOING REVIEWS AND REFLECTION SESSIONS

 

These sessions provide a platform to  the  teacher  to  get  together  and  share  their successes and challenges with each other. They can learn from each other’s experiences and provide necessary support to each other. These sessions provide teacher educators with a valuable opportunity to  understand  the  common  issues  of  all  teachers  enabling them to improve the design of further learning sessions. These sessions can be facilitated by teacher educators, or the head of a school, or supervisors in public schools.

  1. ARRANGING ORIENTATION SESSIONS FOR HEAD TEACHERS AND PRINCIPALS

 

        • The orientation sessions should cover all the key areas of the training attended by the teachers.
        • Head teachers and principals should know what the trainee teacher is expected to do in the school.
        • Head teachers and principals should facilitate and provide support to the trainee teachers.
    • GUIDELINES FOR DEVELOPING ASSESSMENT OF ECCE TEACHERS’ TRAINING, LEARNING AND CPD PROGRAMMES

It is important for teacher educators to use specific methods to assess the relevance and delivery of their programme, as well as its impact on teachers’ learning and classroom practice. Given below are guidelines to teacher educators to develop tools and processes for the assessment of teacher learning sessions. It is recommended that detailed

 

uidelines for the following key areas be provided in the guidebook:

 

        • Purpose of assessing learning session and fields-based support.
        • Purpose of assessing teachers’ competence levels.
        • Methods of assessing learning sessions and field-based support.
        • Taking participants’ feedback at the end of the programme through questionnaire, checklist or rating scale. Some sample tools can be included in the appendices.
        • Asking participants to talk about the session/field-based support provided, in terms of what value was added to their learning, what did not work and what needs to improve.
        • Inviting experienced  individuals  to  provide  feedback  to  teacher  educators  to  improve the sessions.
        • Reflecting daily on the sessions/field-based work by teacher educators  themselves,  in order to identity the strengths and weaknesses of their  programmes  and  then  taking action to improve.
        • Techniques to assess teachers’ competence and professional growth.
        • Observing teachers in action in the school and classroom and assessing their competence in all areas.
        • Discussing their work with teachers and asking for a self-analysis on their learning.
        • Studying and analysing teachers’ work such as, plans developed  by  them  for  their classes, learning material produced by them.
        • Discussing teachers’ performance with the head of the school.
        • Strategies to accommodate the children with special needs by adapting/modifying the instructional/assessement activities.
    • GUIDELINES FOR ECCE LEARNING MATERIAL DEVELOPERS
      1. Key Considerations for Material Development
        • Goals and Objectives: The first step towards developing learning material is to account for its utility and impact on children’s learning. It is critical to identify specific learning areas and key competencies for which the learning materials will be used, and this information should be included in the packaging/literature. Consequently, focused materials development and effectiveness of pre-testing will be ensured. If this information is provided to teachers, parents and educators, it will facilitate the effective utilization of the learning materials.
        • Interactivity of Materials: Children at the ECCE stage of development need hands-on, concrete activities to make sense of the world around them.
        • Quality and Relevance of Content: A key aspect is to look at the content for its quality. Depth, range, comprehensiveness and accuracy  of  information  shared,  defines  the quality of the materials. For example, depicting a whale as fish is inaccurate. Checking the learning content for relevance with respect to the age, context and key competencies is essential for producing quality learning material.  It  is  also  entirely possible that correct information can be irrelevant. For example, describing the internal parts of a computer at the ECCE level  is  irrelevant  and  unnecessary,  even though the information may be  accurate.  Material  must  be  assessed  for  both  quality and relevance.
        • Language and Text: Developers should ensure that words used in the material are appropriate to the learner’s as well as the teacher’s literacy level. Complex sentence structures and archaic words should be avoided. For ECCE materials, language must be simple and creative. Care should be taken to ensure that language and text used for

materials do not violate the principles of inclusiveness and diversity mentioned

 

below. All learning materials should be free from

stereotyping and should respect the social diversity of the context. Stereotypes may be understood as ideas about people that are widely held and accepted, though they may not necessarily be true, such as, only men as breadwinners, and women as housewives only. The title of the material, especially in the case of booklets, guides and displays should be engaging and meaningful.

  • Visuals: Visuals and illustrations at the ECCE level play a key role in stimulating children’s thinking and developing their meta-cognitive skills. The illustrations and graphics used in the material should be accurate, attractive, bright, colourful, and engaging. However, they should not be too busy or cluttered, thereby making it difficult for children to focus on the main points. Visual content should be free from all types of stereotyping whilst retaining relevance and respect for social contexts. For instance, check the illustrations and see if the dominant characters are mainly from one cultural group or are all men. Who is doing what? Are children with disabilities passive onlookers, or are they actively involved? Do they look enthusiastic? Is the imagery in any way promoting violence? Responding to such questions will ensure that illustrations are not perpetuating the taboos and misconstrued notions widely held in society.
        • Incisiveness of Teaching Materials: It is of utmost importance that the teaching and learning materials are incisive in nature. As charted out by UNESCO, learning materials become incisive when they:
  • Include all children, including those with diverse backgrounds and abilities.
  • Are relevant to the children’s learning needs and abilities, as well as their way of life.
  • Are appropriate to the culture and value social diversity, for example, socio-economic diversity: poor families can be very good families for children; they can come up with creative solutions for problems, and they could be depicted as inventive.
  • Are useful for their future life.
  • Include males and females in a variety of roles.
  • Use appropriate language that includes all of these aspects of equity.

 

Checking the story line is also critical for making the material  incisive  and  respectful. Consider how problems are presented, conceived,  and  resolved  in  the  story.  Does  the story line encourage passive  acceptance  or  active  resistance  by  “minority”  characters, such as persons with different abilities? Are the successes of girls and women based on their own initiative and intelligence, or are they due to their good looks? Could the same story be told if the action or roles given to men and women in the story were reversed? It often goes without any realization but most commonly told tales like Cinderella,  present gender biased and stereotypical roles.

        • Safety of Materials: Learning resources related to the Key Learning Area should be produced as far as possible with  natural  materials.  The  concept  of  safety  is  broader than ensuring that materials do not have sharp edges. For instance, many  toys  and learning materials are  made  of  poor  quality  plastic  which  is  detrimental  to  health  and is carcinogenic. Where possible, environment friendly materials should be used.
    • A SUGGESTED LIST OF MATERIALS FOR THE ECCE CLASSROOM

Given below is a list of learning materials which teachers can place in the Learning Corners/Goshay and use during Group Work Time as well. It is highly recommended that the materials are from the local context to begin with. Not  all  materials  have  to  be purchased; families and community  members  will  certainly  be  willing  to  share  old/used (but clean) objects which can be very useful to build up a conducive and equipped ECCE

learning environment. However, there is no limit to quality and if resources

 

permit  an   ECCE   classroom   must   be   the   best

equipped classroom in any school. Materials which can be recycled and reused are strongly recommended. Teachers must check for breakage, safety and cleanliness on a daily basis.

For Creative Art Work
        • Materials for mixing and painting
  • Paint/powder paint
  • Crayon shavings, Pencil shavings, Wood shaving
  • Plastic bottles
  • Plastic jars
  • Paint brushes of different sizes
  • Saucers, dishes for paint
  • Sponges
  • Aprons, T- shirts
  • Toothbrushes
  • Clothes pegs,
  • Small pieces of cloths
        • Materials for representation
  • Pencils, crayons, markers, chalk
  • Magazines, newspapers, catalogues
  • Paper of different sizes and textures
  • Wax paper, tissue paper
  • Scraps of paper, paper plates
  • Invitation/greeting  cards
  • small/large  empty  boxes
  • Clay, slime, plasticine
  • Large Buttons, straws, small empty cartons
  • Empty thread spools/reels
  • Cardboard tubes, paper bags
  • Cloth, felt, vinyl scraps, fallen leaves
  • Recyclable/indigenous  materials
        • Materials for holding things together and for taking them apart
  • White glue,
  • Masking tape,
  • Yarn
  • Staplers (for teachers’ use only)
  • String
  • paper clips (for teachers’ use only)
  • Rubber bands
  • Round tip scissors
  • Cellophane tape
  • paper knives
        • For Music and Movement
  • Tape recorders/CD players and tapes/CDs of a variety of music,
  • Musical instruments (homemade or purchased)
  • Bottles of different sizes and textures, metal spoons, wooden sticks
        • For Pretend Play/Role Play (all toys)
  • Old telephones, old clocks, (toy) tool box, soft chair, dust brush and dustpan
  • Small tables and chairs

 

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    Props for pretending – clothes, hats, shoes, mirror
  • Dolls, stuffed animals, doll beds, baby rattles, bibs, bottles
  • Cushions, small blankets, matters
  • Toy utensil sets
  • Teapots, kettles (toy)
  • Cutlery, doi, (ladle)
  • Mixing bowls, measuring spoons/cups, sifter
  • Potholders, aprons, towels, sponges, napkins, place mats
  • Empty dry food boxes, cartons, jars, bags
  • Doctors’ sets
  • Gardening tools set
  • Construction tools set
  • Carpenter tools set
        • For Building and Pretend Play
  • A variety of blocks: hollow, unit small stacking,
  • Blocks made from boxes
  • Large and small boxes, small pieces of wood with round edges
  • Small cars and trucks, small animals, insects, birds
        • For Experimentation and Discovery
  • Seeds, fallen leaves and twigs
  • Magnifying glass
  • Puzzles, boxes and bottle with lids in different sizes
  • Large nuts and bolts (toy)
  • Cloth Pegs
  • Stacking rings
  • Magnets, scales and balances
  • Beads, stringing materials
  • Large Buttons, small stones, sea shells
  • Sets of matching picture cards
  • Sand and water, sifters and strainers
  • Materials that will float/sink
  • Measuring cups, funnels
  • Material for bubbles making
  • Maps of Pakistan and World
        • For Reading and Writing
  • Pencils, crayons, markers
  • Old Computer keyboards, typewriters
  • Rubber stamps, paper clips, tape, rulers
  • Different types of paper: with and without lines
  • Envelopes
  • Assorted books (big books, small books, picture books with and without text)
  • Child-made books
  • Photograph books from field trips
  • Cosy chair or pillows
  • Puppets
  • Slate & chalks
  • Takhti, qalam & dawat
  • Rubbers
  • Foot rulers
  • Sharpeners