English - Meridian International Center

Building the Foundation: Peace and Conflict Education in
Early Childhood Development Programs
Project Implemented in Partnership between
Child Institute of Al-Quds University &
Meridian International Center
Basic Training, Part 1
Basic Skills for ECD Teachers
Learning Objectives:
1. To understand how children learn best
2. To know how to encourage active learning processes in the
3. To help teachers understand young children’s attachment
issues when they are away from their families and know how
to help them
4. To understand the importance of classroom schedules and
routines for young children
5. To know and be able to apply age-appropriate disciplinary
tactics that are consistent with the goals of the peace and
conflict resolution curriculum
Learning is a Life-Long Process
Children already come to
school with a wealth of
knowledge, skills, values and
belief that they have gained
from their experiences at
home, with siblings, friends,
and family, media, and in the
community or other day care
What kinds of
experiences and
knowledge do you
think children bring
with them when
they first come to
What do children learn
at home?
• language
• social skills
• health practices
• environmental practices
What do children learn
from the community?
• language
• social skills
• symbol information
What kinds of
media/television shows
are children exposed
What do they learn from
How safe and protective
are these
• How are children
perceived and treated
in the family and
How can the preschool
take into consideration
these differences and
ensure continuity, while
helping children to
adjust to a new
environment, new
information, rules and
Learning is a life-long process. The experiences,
knowledge and skills that the child gains during
preschool enrich and empower the child to move
onto new learning fields within the home, school,
or community.
• What kinds of activities
help children to become
• What kinds of activities
help children to interact
with other children?
• What kinds of activities
help children to
evaluate what they are
• What kinds of activities
allow children to take
decisions and practice
School Readiness
• Used to be thought of as
knowing letters, colors and
• Now it is thought of as having
the skills necessary to learn:
Approaches to learning
Cognition and general knowledge
Learning is a Multi-Sensory
Active Process
When doing activities with children, allow time
for them to become aware of what is
happening, to explore what is occurring, give
them to time to “understand and
conceptualize”, and then allow them to use
their new information and skills in other
For example, when you have children do an
art activity, they are learning to:
plan ahead
sequence events
organize spatially
adapt their experiences
to new materials
• use their imaginations
What they have learned to do with art materials,
they can then adapt to other activities. What
other activities use these skills?
planning ahead
sequencing events
organizing spatially
Because Learning is a
Multi-Sensory Active Process
1. Plan activities with awareness of the skills you wish
to build in the children
2. Give specific, simple instructions to the children
about what you want them to do
3. Be sure to allow enough time for all of the children
to explore materials and complete the activity
4. Be aware of limits of children’s attention– activities
should need only about 5 minutes for each phase,
or 20 minutes total time
Because Learning is a
Multi-Sensory Active Process
5. Be supportive of children’s creativity and their
expressions of their own experiences
6. Praise their efforts
7. Give children some decision-making opportunities
8. Help children appreciate each other’s work
Learning is a Multi-Sensory Active Process
2. Children usually learn best when they are
allowed to do so in a number of different
settings and contexts.
This Can Help Us Question:
• What do children learn through play? Do you have specific
activities that are play-based?
• Do you take children on trips into the community and other
places so they can learn about “real life”…going to another
school, visiting the doctor, visiting an outdoor play area, etc.
• What kinds of activities allow children to be
“scientists”…where they can seek out information, observe
what is happening, report on it, record it and explain what
they noted?
• What kinds of activities do you have that involve children in
routine and scheduled activities that give them increasing
responsibilities and independence?
• Which activities do you have that use a straightforward,
directive method of teaching? Which subjects do you do this
with and how much time out of the school day does this
Teacher Roles and Strategies
1. Planner:
Identifying your expectations of children and what achievements you
want or expect. Linking past, current and future learning processes and
content. Helping, challenging and encouraging children to deeper levels
of understanding cognitive, social, and emotional.
2. Communicator:
Helping children to adjust to preschool setting…physically and socially.
Working with children and parents in identifying socio-cultural values
and beliefs and how they are incorporated into the preschool. Helping
children to develop their own social skills and capabilities.
3. “Teacher”:
Teachers acts as a facilitator within the classroom. Supports children in
being actively involved in the learning process, encourages children’s
participation, and monitors children’s progress. Acts as a role model in
demonstrating good listening skills, collaboration and cooperation with
others, and independence.
Children’s Roles and Strategies
1. Exploring, curious, creative, and initiating. Children
should be allowed to explore their feeling, the environment,
verifying concepts and understandings, and developing
relationships with other children in an open atmosphere.
Asking questions, testing out hypotheses, choosing what
they want to do and allowing children freedom to be
decision makers in the classroom are all essential if the
child’s right to explore and initiate activities is accepted and
Teacher encourages children to come up with innovative and
creative solutions and encourages children’s imagination.
Some of the Things to Consider:
• Teacher should allow child a variety of different activities to
engage in.
• Child should be allowed to select what kinds of activities they
would like to engage in.
• Teacher should encourage open ended discussions, child -led
and initiated discussions, and introduce a variety of different
topics within the classroom.
• Child should be allowed to express their views without being
penalized or told to think in one way or dimension only.
Children’s Roles and Strategies
2. Internal motivation to learn. Children should be encouraged
to love learning and not to simply “learn how to
read…write…or count.” Children should internalize a love to
explore, solve problems, and seek out answers at their own
pace and in their own manner. Children learn at different
rates and with different skills. Teachers should encourage
children to try to solve problems and to learn different skills,
but take into account the differences within children. Some
will learn more quickly than others some tasks, while others
will adapt and learn other kinds of skills more easily.
We Need to Pay Attention to the Following:
• Teacher should be a role model for children and show them
how to cooperate with one another, listen to one another, and
use positive language…”thank you, your turn, please, I am
listening, I feel this way…how do you feel, sorry, next time
maybe we should do it this way…etc.”
• Child is encouraged to learn, not punished if they do not
answer questions correctly, allowed to learn skills in a gradual
manner at their own pace, and given opportunity to repeat
activities until they master them.
• Teacher provides a variety of different materials, tools and
activities for children to use within the classroom in a flexible
manner. Sufficient time is allocated for each child to learn at
their own pace and “retry” and test out their skills numerous
times in different situations.
Children’s Roles and Strategies
3. Able to reason and solve problems. Children can learn to
address issues by testing out different solutions, they can
learn to be methodical in how they approach different
situations, children learn how to interact with others by being
exposed to different types of relationship…friendships,
working in groups, joint task teams, in games, in competition,
in sharing materials. Teachers should encourage children to
participate in different types of groupings and allow children
to work out their problems. Teacher should encourage
children to listen to one another, to understand one another’s
needs, come up with solutions that are agreeable to most of
them, find out how prevent problems in the future. This
requires children learning to be responsible for their own
behavior and how they act within different environments and
Some of the Strategies That We Can Follow:
• Teacher reads stories to children that demonstrate problem
solving, conflict resolution, and allow for time for children to
discuss, ask questions, and identify different ways of problem
• Child is allowed to participate in a number of different
interactive arenas…within the classroom, in the outdoor play
area, in community activities that will allow children to
become aware of different types of roles for people, how they
can interact together, share materials, and role play
themselves and others.
• Teacher helps children to reason by asking open ended
questions and asks children questions like “what if”, “when “,
“what”, “how” and “why?”
Using a Theme in the Classroom to Introduce New
Concepts, Skills, Practices and Attitudes.
An Example of a Theme:
“Taking care of our body.”
When we discuss a certain theme, we need to pay
attention to the following:
Language and Communication
Talk about the different parts of the body, make posters of the
child’s shape and label different body parts, discuss the different
functions of the body…what does the eye do, our skin, our legs,
how do they connect to the brain, what makes us move.
Read stories to the child that address similarities and differences
between people, disabled, elderly, young children or older
children, etc.
Have children examine the environment to see how safe and
protective it is sun not directly shining on the eyes, no sharp
corners that can hurt others, a rug that they trip over, focus on
how you can all work together to make the environment safer for
Help children to see how they are similar or different (color of
eyes, hair, height, weight) and how to see if this effects how we
feel about ourselves or others. Examine similarities children share
with their parents, family members and the community in general.
Use magazines to expose children to people from other countries,
Japan, Africa, South America, how are we all similar or different.
2. Numbers and Logico-Mathematical Understanding
• Activities that focus on how many toes, fingers, eyes, freckles,
etc. that each of us has.
• Activities that measure length and height…who can reach
something on the top shelf? What happens when we stand on
a chair to reach something?
• Trying to measure outdoor temperature and how we feel
when it gets too hot or too cold. How do we protect yourself
from high or low temperatures, sun, shade, rain, snow?
3. Socio-Personal Development
• Discuss with children their rights and responsibilities
concerning their bodies. How do we take care of ourselves
and others…not hurting ourselves or others, not letting others
do things to us that we feel are uncomfortable (not being
forced to take off our clothing or have someone touch our
body in certain ways and places, etc.).
• How close can we stand together without feeling
uncomfortable? Let children play together freely, ask them
what they liked about play…moving their bodies quickly,
interacting with others, do they notice that their hearts are
beating faster, that they are perspiring?
• How does it feel if someone yells at us or hits us? Use
examples where children are not getting along to find out
why…how does it make them feel inside? Use these
situations to have children “think about their feelings” and
“think about others feelings”. Can we see feelings? Have
children draw pictures of what their feelings might look like?
4. Physical Well Being
• At lunch time, examining which foods are healthy for us. Why are
carrots better than cookies? Have children write their own “watch me
grow” menus. They can draw (write) up menus of what they should be
eating for breakfast, lunch, snacks.
• Have children set up their own diary of what they eat, monitor good
eating practices.
• Introduce concepts of hygiene. Set up routines of washing hands and
utensils. Using soap, brushing teeth. Take children on visit to dentist
and doctor who can talk to them about good practices and show them
the tools they use to keep children healthy.
• Set up routine periods of time where children and teacher can do
exercise, dance, move their bodies freely.
• Teach children new gross movements, skipping, jump roping, skip
roping, etc.
• Carry out exercises to see how well children can see and
hear….identifying a letter on the board at different distances, making a
noise and having children guess what the noise was or sound. Note
similarities and differences in children’s abilities and how we can
address problems with vision, hearing or movement.
5. Active Cognitive Learning
• Have children think about how they can take better care of
themselves? What thinks make them sick? Where do viruses and
bacteria come from? How can we protect ourselves from getting
sick? Talk about medicine-only to be handled by parents, visiting a
doctor. What do we do when we get sick? Get a high temperature,
sleep more, etc.
• Put a fruit in a dish and let it rot. What grows on the fruit?
Bacteria…what happens if we eat something that is rotten or not
clean? Pick up a toy and clean it with a rag, show children the dirt
that is usually on toys? What can we do to protect ourselves from
not getting ill, not putting our hands in our mouth, washing our
hands, etc.
• Where can we find more information about taking care of ourselves,
books, media, internet, etc.
• How could we improve on our bodies, can they come up with
creative ideas of gadgets that we can “add on” to our bodies to make
them more functional, use the idea of spider man, are an arm that
can stretch, an eye with a magnifying glass, etc.
Related flashcards
Create Flashcards