That magical moment when thinking/creativity clicks into gear and ideas explode like fireworks.
That is what happened on the course today.
The participants shared their documentation of Saturday's session (where they played with loose parts, and told to take photographs of the learning that happened to create a documentation/publication that could explain to parents how learning happens through play. it would have been a documentation of children's play, but sadly I have timed my visit to when the schools have their winter holiday... great for being able to meet up with the participants more, not so great to put their practice into direct action.
Once they had presented we brainstormed together...
what learning was visible in the documentation
how could we extend, continue, support the children's continued learning through play...
At first this part proved slow and lacked ideas...
So I put a big piece of paper on the floor in the middle of the room, with the rocks (as this was the topic of the first presentation) and shared some ideas for continued play and the learning that could happen. It was amazing... a little bit of inspiration and the fireworks were ignited.
They were coming up with ideas, all sort of possibilities... and sharing the learning potential of these ideas...
this was done then for all the presentations...
The presentations were done as a powerpoint, or as a film, or as a series of photos with a written text. Most had worked in groups... and we talked about the value of shared learning... of working together so that shared reflections deepen.
They asked me about why i was writing down everything they were saying... I told them that it helped me to connect their ideas... to remember what was being said, so that next time I come I would be able to see how their ideas have expanded, changed or become deeper. more profound, or not changed... to see their learning... and that this is how I see the children's learning... how they interact with each other... how I see their language development, their idea development, their knowledge bank growing, and that it allowed me to be able to share with parents how their children learned and how they were developing, and what we could do to continue their development.
Today felt powerful. To see all this creativity flowing.
Once I am home in Stockholm, I will write more about the activities and our reflections... right now this is all I can manage!!
I do want to put a book together with ideas for play and learning... something simple to provoke thought and that is directly related to this course.
I am also going to put together some form of research to see if this 15 month course will have any impact on the children. So the idea is during February some observations will be made of the participants classes/groups and a few control schools/preschools... and then after the course the same observations made at the same schools/preschools... to see if the year long course... including a visit to Sweden and visit preschools in Stockholm... makes a difference in how the children learn/react to their learning/teaching.
I am grateful for The Freedom theatre who will ensure this happens, and also the support of Jenin Ministry if Education who will allow access to schools/preschools in order to learn more about effective teacher training.
If the course is not effective, the adjustments will need to be made... I DO feel confident that it will have an impact though.