Over the last couple of weeks we have been working with Moses Osore an educationist at the University of Nairobi to clarify and document the core principles of curriculum and the approach to learning and teaching. We still have some have some ground to cover but here is a look at some of the ideas we have developed so far, and we will be looking to train our teachers on implementing.
Play is a principle foundation of learning, and it should drive our curriculum methodology. It must be incorporated into the daily routine, both planned and free-play.
Play is a process through which children actively manipulate and explore ideas and materials that interest them. Play promotes all aspects of children’s development, and helps children learn how to make decisions, negotiate social relationships, solve problems and express their feelings and ideas. Research shows that academic instruction impacts children’s learning in the short-term, the benefits fade over time. In contrast, high-quality, play-based learning experiences have a longer lasting impact on child development, particularly for disadvantaged children.
Learning should be highly child-centred learning, ensuring the curriculum and activities fit their needs and talents to instill a long-term love of learning.
Child-centred teaching approach shifts the focus from the teacher to children, where teachers consider children’s interests and abilities when planning activities and learning experiences. Child centred teaching provides children with hands-on opportunities to learn, and construct their own knowledge in collaboration with peers, teachers, and other teachers. When education is child-centred it sustains the children’s interests and increases their motivation in school, encourages their talents and builds their self-esteem, while also providing opportunities to build on prior knowledge.
Developmentally Appropriate Education
Age-appropriate activities are core to the curriculum, ensuring children are not pushed too fast or memorize information, but understand concepts and build skills to succeed in school and life long-term.
Age-appropriate education is an approach designed to promote young children’s optimal learning and development. The approach is grounded in knowing how young children develop and learn, understanding the individual child and incorporating the local culture into expectations of children. This approach involves teachers meeting young children where they are, and helping them meet challenging and achievable learning goals.
Hands of Love Methodology promotes seeing the “whole child”, addressing their emotional, physical, social and cultural needs, in addition to their cognitive / academic needs for optimum development results.
Rather than focus on academic development alone, holistic development seeks to address all needs of children. This means children are stimulated to achieve development milestones across all developmental domains, including cognitive, language, socio-emotional and physical development. By providing holistic development instead of providing pressure for specific academic outcomes, teachers allow the child to feel confident and provide the opportunity to master skills they need for life.