Managing preschool children has a lot of challenges. It is difficult in itself, and additional pressure is added on the teachers to know how to shape these easily influenced kids. This is why the profession calls for constant improvement and change - educators have to adapt to new methods, keep up with new studies, and constantly look for ways to make their students’ future better. This week our participants had a chance to learn about international pedagogical methods, especially the Italian system.
The new edition of the course “The best for preschool teachers” took place in Bologna from 5/06/2022 to 11/06/2022. The participants came from all across Europe, with Helen, Marge, Airi, Jaanika from Rakvere Kungla kindergarten in Estonia; Dina, Mara, Julio form EBI Água de Pau in Portugal; Martyna, Kinga, Agata, Bernadeta form PSPW Mielec in Poland; Katarína from Special primary School in Vranov nad Topľou in Slovakia; Anda and Liana form Saldus pre-school educational institution “Pasaciņa” in Latvia; Jane and Katarina from Haapsalu Lasteaed Tareke in Estonia.
On Monday we took the time to get to know each other - breaking the ice with some games, discussing expectations and fears for the upcoming week, and giving some context to the participants’ experience by presenting their schools.
Then it was time for a small trip. The teachers and the course trainer headed to Reggio Emilia to visit the Loris Malaguzzi Centre where an expert guided us throughout the 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, whilst also getting to know the town a little better with a guided tour.
Wednesday was for non-formal education and experiential learning. We played a few games and activities to better understand these topics.
It was then time for another visit this time to explore Outdoor Education. We visited an outdoor preschool and witnessed the wonder of learning in the eyes of the children. Thanks to the passionate teachers who accompanied us, this experience was an eye opener on the deep need of nowadays society to bring our kids back to the authentic and real world, and the benefits this might entail for learning to respect the environment.
Moving on discovering the Italian preschool experience, we had the pleasure of hosting a Montessori teacher from a Montessori preschool. The group delved into the Montessori method, a philosophy and pedagogy developed by Maria Montessori in the early 19th century. A presentation of pictures of an authentic Montessori environment and materials was the starting point for discovering the method in a practical and experiential way.
One of the last - but not least! - activities was a challenge to invent a new activity for the participants’ own target group. In a concluding manner, they had to use the methods and approaches discovered during the course. They later presented their ideas and collected valuable feedback from each other. There were a lot of ideas incorporating outdoor education, with a focus on caring for the environment.
After an active week, we had to say goodbye to the group. We hope you can implement all your ideas and projects in the upcoming school year, and share your knowledge back at home.
Ciao, see you soon!
Discover more about this course at: https://www.erasmustrainingcourses.com/preschool-teacher-training.html