As an adult, it’s hard to remember what it was like to be a child. From our perspective children seem small and fragile - which is why we usually feel the need to protect them in every way. But what if we leave them the freedom to explore the world on their own? After all, experience is the best educator.
This edition of the course “The best for preschool teachers” took place in Bologna from 01/05/2022 to 07/05/2022. The participants came from all across Europe, with Erika, Erika, Daiva, Vilija from Alytaus lopselis-darzelis "Saltinelis" in Lithuania; Súsanna, Maria from Múlaborg and Daníel, Karen from Grandaborg in Iceland; María and Carmen from CEIP Ponte dos Brozos in Spain; Barbara, Jadwiga, Joanna, Edyta from Publiczna Szkoła Podstawowa w Krzeszowie Górnym in Poland.
The course began with breaking the ice and setting expectations for the week. We shared our fears, what we can contribute to the group, and what we plan to take away from the course. The participants had the opportunity to present their schools and systems with which they work, whilst also getting to know the Italian system. This gave us insight into what we’re working with, and what kind of experience each one of us can offer.
Then it was time for making dreams come true. The teachers and the course trainer headed to Reggio Emilia to visit the Loris Malaguzzi Centre where an expert guided us throughout the wonderful exhibitions of the Centre. Teachers had a chance to learn more about the history, the materials, the projects and the experiences which make the Reggio Emilia approach unique in the world.
We then moved on to explore experiential learning and non-formal education. By playing some games and introducing ourselves in a non-formal way, we really felt how unique this approach is, and how it gives children opportunities to really express themselves and feel part of a community.
The group delved then into the Montessori method, a philosophy and pedagogy developed by Maria Montessori in the early 19th century. A guest from a Montessori preschool in Bologna came and showed us pictures of the school, telling stories of how lessons based on experiential learning could look. Talking with someone who has first-hand experience with this method was beneficial, because it empowered us to imagine how to implement Montessori inspired practices into other school settings.
For the final activity of the week, we had the opportunity to visit an Outdoor Education school. The teachers were kind enough to show us around, where for a moment we could put ourselves in the kids’ place and experience the wonder of learning outside of a classroom.
By the end of the week we can confidently say that our participants came home with a head full of ideas, and the motivation to implement what they had learned!
Discover more about this course at: https://www.erasmustrainingcourses.com/preschool-teacher-training.html