We're all aware of the challenge: blending education and fun isn't always straightforward. Yet, employing innovative teaching methods can truly make a significant difference, especially with our youngest learners. It's crucial to find ways to engage and inspire them through playful learning. Fortunately, a plethora of tools is now available for preschool settings - project-based learning, socio-emotional learning, outdoor activities, and creative games are among the array of options at our disposal!
The course "Innovative Teaching Methods for Preschool Educators" was held in Bologna from November 26th to December 2nd, 2023. Four participants from Sweden represented two distinct schools: Lina and Caroline from Södra förskoleområde Gävle, and Åsa and Maria from Luleå Kommun Förskola.
An Erasmus experience thrives on the exchange of cultures and best practices. Hence, we commenced our training with presentations from each participating school. The participants shared visual materials, videos, and their most successful methodologies with the rest of the group.
During our first day, we delved into the Italian preschool system and heard presentations about each other's schools. We also discussed the broad concept of innovation in education and brainstormed the week's agenda, covering topics like Socio-Emotional Learning, Outdoor Education, Project-Based Learning, and creative skills—exploring existing knowledge and identifying areas for further exploration.
Day two centered on children's emotions and emotional learning. Through different reflections and activities we tried to find ways to talk about emotions with children, fostering a more inclusive and empathic classroom. We discovered that feelings are colourful and can be represented in many creative ways. Lastly, we discussed the importance of emotional learning and the impact it can have on our lifes.
The third day was dedicated to Outdoor Education at Villa Ghigi. Recognizing the limitations of discussing Outdoor Education within classroom walls, we had a joyous visit. The benefits of Outdoor Education became evident through numerous games and activities—boosting motivation, creativity, and enhancing psychophysical well-being through nature exposure, thereby reducing stress.
Day four introduced us to Project-Based Learning (PBL)! This innovative method allows students to engage deeply with content by exploring real-world issues based on a central question. By dissecting the principles of PBL, participants discovered how teamwork, collaboration, and creativity aid young students in addressing real-world problems strategically from the outset, with guidance from their teachers.
Lastly, we delved into the potency of creativity through challenging activities, encouraging the class to think outside the norm!
By the end of the course, the team spirit was palpable, making it tough to bid farewell. Yet, we found a wonderful way to express gratitude to each other. The group left eager to implement the myriad of ideas spawned during the course back in their respective countries. It marked the end of an inspiring week, but the beginning of implementing newfound knowledge and strategies.
Discover more about this course here.
Welcome to the ELA Blog. Here you will find articles and photos of our courses and have a look at the topics addressed during the week in Bologna, Palermo and Tenerife. You will also have the chance to take a peek at our projects and check out what we have been up to.