Even at preschool level, it can be difficult to find solutions to blend learning and fun. This is why it is important to focus on innovative teaching methods that could help in achieving this goal. Non formal education, project-based learning, outdoor education and creative thinking are key tools to engage little students and to make them learn more about themselves and their environment while playing.
The last edition of the course “Innovative teaching methods for preschool teachers ” took place in Palermo from 06/08/2023 to 12/08/2023. The participants came from two beautiful European countries, with Danka, Anna, Silviya and Nadya from Detska gradina Detelina in Bulgaria; and Mari K., Mari L. and Kristina from Kohila Kindergarten Sipsik in Estonia.
The course began with an introduction on early school system, with a focus on the Italian system. Later, participants were invited to share their opinions about “plays” in kindergarten, through a brainstorming activity. The second part of the day was devoted to the “curriculum” in preschool and to the presentations of the participating schools.
On the second day, the main topic addressed was Non-formal education and the differences with informal education and formal education. The trainer provided important information on the “learning by doing” approach and also on Kolb’s experiential cycle. The course continued with a reflection on the role of the teacher in this context and with set of non-formal activities and games aiming at creating connection, teamwork, empathy and creativity.
The following day, the focus was set on Project-based learning, an innovative teaching method that engage children and enables them to learn new contents but also to acquire new skills in the process that always starts with a driving question. A practical activity on how to build a good driving question was carried out by the participants under the guidance of the trainer.
During the second part of the training course, two main topics related with innovative teaching methods were addressed: outdoor education and creativity.
A whole day was devoted to outdoor education, starting from its benefits for students (and teachers and education staff). The course was held in a beautiful park in Palermo, not far from the city centre, where the participants could test by themselves innovative outdoor activities for preschool children and think about new ones for their students. Working, studying and playing surrounded by nature is healthy and it also leads to an increase in creativity.
Creativity was the last topic covered during the course and also one of the most challenging for many, but not for the participants. They faced every activity of the week with a positive approach and with lots of new ideas generated every day.
Throughout the course, they took on many challenges and they were always ready to come up with new projects for the future but also to share their knowledge on existing projects, and best practices of their schools and countries in preschool education, about innovative teaching methods and techniques.
It was a fantastic and productive week. We are sure that the participants of this training course will apply very soon what they learned during the week back in their countries and schools. Moreover, for sure they will start to work on the new ideas that they thought about during brainstorming, debriefings and sharing moments.
Discover more about this course here.
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