KWT Field Trip June-August 2022

Field trip: 20th – 28th June 2022

Africa A+ completed follow up teaching and learning surveys at the 14 Cohort 1 and 12 Cohort 2 ECD centres participating in the Kouga Windfarm ECD project. The results will be collated by Michaela Ashley Cooper from the Centre for Early Childhood Development (CECD) and a report published later in the year.

 

Field trip: 1st – 6th August 2022

The Africa A+ team completed their fifth 2022 field trip to Kouga. The field trip activities included 16 on-site support visits to ECD centres, a day of professional development for the nine Kouga facilitators, and four workshops for the 26 Cohort 1 and Cohort 2 ECD centres participating in the Kouga Windfarm ECD project. These field trip activities are outlined below:

  1. Facilitators’ Retreat:

The Africa A+ facilitated one day of professional development on the 1st August for the nine Kouga facilitators in training. The focus for the day was reconnecting with the A+ Essentials, building an effective Kouga facilitation team, and finding ways of supporting the ECD centres under their care.  Each facilitator received an Africa A+ bag in appreciation of their commitment and work in supporting the Kouga ECD centres.

2. On-site Visits to Cohort 1 and 2 ECD centres

Two Africa A+ facilitators visited 16 ECD centres during the mornings from 2 – 5th August.  One facilitator implemented groupwork in the Grade R classrooms; another worked with the ECD teachers on how to nurture the children’s creativity. The purpose of each visit was to demonstrate to ECD staff diverse ways of facilitating quality play-based learning experiences with children. The Kouga facilitators in training attended some of the demonstrations as part of their training.

3. ECD Workshops for Cohort 1 and 2 ECD centre staff

Four workshops were facilitated in the afternoons of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th August and the morning of Saturday 6th August:

….. poor outcomes for poor children are by no means inevitable. There are many poor children who have significantly better outcomes than their peers, despite their disadvantaged circumstances (p.3).

  • 43 principals and staff from the 12 Cohort 2 ECD centres attended two workshops on the 4th and 6th The focus was storytelling. The participants listened to a storyteller, created and enacted their own stories, and understood the pedagogical role of storytelling in joyful and creative teaching.

All the workshop were held at the iZinto materials centre in Humansdorp. Participation was enthusiastic and hands on.

 

Highlights and challenges:

  • The iZinto materials centre in Humansdorp continues to be an effective venue for workshops and an accessible resource in the following ways:
    • The Africa A+ facilitators bring the iZinto materials to individual ECD centres and demonstrate ways of working with the materials. The materials remain at the ECD centre where they are used by the teachers and children.
    • After attending a workshop at the iZinto centre, the ECD staff can choose materials from the shelves to take back as creative teaching and learning tools.
  • Implementation of training is uneven:
    • Implementation remains low at ECD centres where principals do not attend workshops regularly and there is a high turnover of staff resulting in an ongoing cycle of untrained and inexperienced teachers. This challenge has led to a decision by Africa A+ to start supporting principals in how to nurture ongoing professional development and support for their staff.
  • The highlight was seeing ECD centres implementing the A+ approach. This is noticeable at centres that have a low teacher turnover, an on-site principal, and staff who attend workshops regularly. Implementation is also noticeable at the nine Kouga facilitators’ ECD centres; this is expected as the Kouga facilitators are committed ECD leaders who have had the most exposure to the A+ approach. The two photos below show how two ECD centres are implementing the A+ approach:
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Quotes

The “Theory of Loose Parts: An important principle for design methodology, 1972” was developed by an architect, Simon Nicholson in the 1970’s. He stated that children need loose, moveable parts to extend their imaginations and thinking: “In any environment, both the degree of inventiveness and creativity, and the possibility of discovery are directly proportional to number and kinds of variables in it.”  – A+ applies this approach as a key part of our teacher training.

Highlight

A+ encourages teachers to actively engage children in learning through movement and play. Faith in Action Educare is playing a fun game that teaches the children about space and position, listening and following instructions, and co-operation.

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