Notes from the ECIS conference held on 16-18th March in Athens.
Dr Gunilla Dahlberg spoke on The Changing Landscape in Early Childhood Education. It is a highly profiled area and has brought interest among economists, psychologists and educator. The child is seen as the site for change, instead of searching the given identities and locating problem on child. A pedagogy of welcoming and hospitality built on listening and comprehension. A willingness to experiment and to explore creative processes and production. A collective experimentation with the potential already there. A pedagogy that is open to the unknown and the unexpected, start with meaning, listening to students express naturally. Children are all the time creating connections between different subject areas. Start with listening, to challenge ideas. Put productive questions and materials.
Acquisition of 1st language is the most complex skill…It is required for all future education and it is our tool for thought and emotional well being. The learning of language goes through stages. The cement holding the bricks of the Language Development Pyramid together is social interaction. At the base of the pyramid is Looking and Listening. Play is the next step up . Play, Understanding, expression and pronunciation.
Sherbourne movement was founded by Veronica Sherbourne, a PE teacher and a physiotherapist. SDM teaching style is a sensitive-responsive style. The adult has to be sensitive enough for the specific developmental needs of the child, to recognize the intentions and the interests and to give the right response at the right time, corresponding to the abilities of the child.
Mark Levitt another key speaker explained that we need to be working with stories to get stories. Encourage exploration and curiosity to write stories.
Another amazing speaker Terry Small – Genius is a choice. It is the art of non-habitual thinking.
Having i-Pads in early education is a great tool to enhance learning and creativity.
Working with EAL children: Linguistically Appropriate Practise by Roma Chumak-Horbatsch emphasis that home languages are important for student’s overall development. The level of development of home language is a strong predictor of the development in the classroom language. Chidren can manage more than one language and enjoy lots of benefits. We need to have inclusive classrooms. Pay attention to the whole child and promote multilinguaism.