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    Professional Training on "Observing Children in play" - Special Session at Shiyan Street Center Kindergarten (Group), Bao'an District, Shenzhen


    16 Nov, 2023

    11 : 50

    • Since the 1970s, Yew Chung has embarked on the exploration of "learning through play" and has been dedicated to researching and implementing the philosophy of "learning through play."


      To help teachers understand the significance, content, and methods of observing children in play, and to learn to observe, evaluate, and support children's learning and development in play, as well as to understand and flexibly apply roles in play, researchers of YCCECE Chor Hang Educational Research Institute(CHERI) have designed a continuing education training course for in-service early childhood teachers titled "Observing Children in play."


      From November 7th to 11th, 2023, researchers of CHERI were invited to conduct a training session on "Observing Children in play" at Shiyan Street Center Kindergarten in Bao'an District, Shenzhen. This event was organized for the 19th Creative Excellence Alliance teachers in Bao'an District, with 40 teaching managers and key teachers participating in the training.


      The four-day training, covering 32 sessions, was rich in content and diverse in form.


      The training on the first day was started off with the question "Why observe children?" Professor Shi Ping inspired the participants' thoughts through case sharing and group discussions, and by exploring the significance of "observe-reflect-respond" in teaching practices.


      Group representatives shared:

      • The ability to understand children and their individual differences, and via reflection to understand their teaching capabilities based on aptitude.
      • Teachers, as companions to children, would guide and support children and strengthen better teacher-child interaction.
      • The transition from teaching children to focusing on children's active learning serves as the bridge between "teaching" and "learning," providing a basis for teaching.
      • Teachers can see their own growth trajectory in the process of observation and recording.
      • Through observation records, teachers can communicate more comprehensively with parents, provide advice, help parents understand educational concepts, and promote home-school cooperation.


      Ms. Dandan Zhang shared her own story and reflections:

      Learning "observational perspective" made her more patient and curious about kids activities like "scattering melon seeds" and "playing Five Chess" or "pouring water on the table". Children's behavior bags tons of learning and development beads.

      When a child raised his hands high, grabbing a handful of melon seeds and scattering them together, he was actually playing by ears to listen, feeling objects with senses, and exploring the surrounding world. When a child poured water on the table, he was simulating the magma of a volcano.

      So, when teachers have the perspective of observation, anxiety turns into appreciation when assessing children's behavior. This facilitates better teacher-child interaction and helps alleviate professional fatigue.


      On day two, Ms. Zhang combined the theory and practice of "observing children in play," arranging for participants to observe children's play on the spot. In the afternoon, she led discussions and analysis on observational practices, enabling participants to acquire observational skills and methods through self-observation, reflection, and sharing.


      The theme of the third day's training was "Reflecting on and Supporting Children's Learning and Development in Various Areas in Play Based on Observation." Ms. Ruifeng Pan shared insights on social and emotional development, physical development, language development, and cognitive development. Participants learned to flexibly apply the "Guidelines for the Learning and Development of 3-6-Year-Old Children" to understand children's learning and development in various areas.


      On the last day, Ms. Huimin Tao conducted an analysis and interpretation of practical cases. Participants reflected on and improved their role and positioning in children's play.


      The kindergarten administrators and key teachers who participated expressed that the training was full of practical content, and they learned a lot. In this professional, practical, interesting, and efficient training, they deepened their understanding of the methods of observing children in theory and improved their ability to observe and support children's learning in practice. In future teaching work, they will listen to children's voices and provide support.


      YCCECE will continue to organize similar training activities, providing educators with more professional and practical education training.

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