The Inspire Early Learning Program revolves around 25 developmental Goals in five Areas of Development. At the STEPS School in Omdurman, Sudan we have completed three of the four workshops introducing these goals.
We started with the basic idea…
You can help your students develop knowledge and skills in important areas to prepare them for school and for life!
To illustrate the four types of knowledge, consider an orange. What are the facts about an orange? Its color is orange, it’s round, it’s sweet, it’s fragrant, etc. What are concepts involving an orange? They are a fruit. (Are all oranges fruits? Yes. Are all fruits oranges? No.) They are food. What are procedures related to oranges? How to peel an orange. How to grow an orange. How to make orange juice. Finally, what metacognition is associated with oranges? Well you tell me! What are you thinking right now about oranges? I like oranges. The fragrance lifts my mood. And so on…
Skills = 25 Developmental Goals
We will unpack each goal with examples and activities that promote that particular skill. The five Areas (or Domains) of Development are…
- Thinking (Metacognition)
- Approaches to Learning
Activity-based instruction is learning and building knowledge and skills through DOING. It will often feel like fun and play. Students are engaged & interested. When teachers shift their thinking from students sitting in chairs in straight rows and “repeat after me” lessons to active learning, their effectiveness increases significantly. One challenge in making the shift is knowing what types of activities work best for active learning. How does a teacher evaluate an activity? We’ve developed a rubric just for that purpose.
Part of each teacher’s “homework” is to create at least one new activity for the classroom and try it out. We spend a fair amount of time using the rubric above to evaluate the quality of each other’s activities (Yes! Including the instructor’s). The teachers show amazing creativity in how they apply these concepts.
The owner of the STEPS School in Omdurman invited us to present this series of workshops with his Preschool and Kindergarten teachers. His hope is to open this up and offer the workshops to other preschools in the area. We hope that will become a reality.
Anderson, L. W., Krathwohl, D. R., Airasian, P. W., Cruikshank, K. A., Mayer, R. E., Pin- trich, P. R., … & Wittrock, M. C. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives, abridged edition. White Plains, NY: Longman.