Kindergarten education in Nigeria: The role of CME PLATFORM  A WhatsApp conversation by fowowe simeon sunday

9th April 2018 - 27 minutes read

Kindergarten education in Nigeria: The role of CME PLATFORM Kindergarten education in Nigeria: The role of CME PLATFORM
“All I really  need to know, I learnt in Kindergarten. Although, first grade interventions  are necessary for some children, but the best intervention is  well-designed Kindergarten instruction.”(Kobert Fulghum, 1998)
Distorting the protocols ,the title comes before greetings ,I greet all educators in in the house for your support always… And the young  man, Ebenezer for the wonderful  job you are doing, I wish your enterprise  thrive in this industry
Your response pls ?What is kindergarten education …?
Generally speaking , kindergarten education is the last phase of pre school education ..The “younger sisters” to kindergarten are  CRECHE/DAY CARE/RECEPTION and   NURSERY..The learners under this kind of education are called KindergartnersIn Nigeria ,The age bracket or cohort is 5-6years and the system is relatively new in Nigeria  ..It actually started officially in Nigeria in 2013 when its first mention was made in the Nation’s policy on educationLet’s study the document that backed up the system  of education
By  implications,  government has ceeded  all powers to RUN NURSERY EDUCATION TO THE PRIVATE SECTOR WHILE KINDERGARTEN EDUCATION TO THE PUBLIC FUNDING AND OWNERSHIP IT IS IMPERATIVE AND INSTRUCTIVE TO STATE HERE AGAIN THAT PRE SCHOOL IS A LEVEL BEFORE GRADE/ PRIMARY ONE AND HAS THESE LEVELS :CRECHE/DAY CARE 0-3 YEARS NURSERY ONE 3-4 YEARS NUTSERY TWO4-5 YEARSKINDERGARTEN 5-6YEARSEnergizer of the day …Watch this video and laugh loud ..
Characteristics of KINDERGARTNERS

 

Some characteristics of children at this level and age are as  follows;

Deferred Imitation:
The child imitates, as closely as he/she can, actions they have seen before. For example, a child feeding a doll the same way and doing and saying the same things that his/her mother did as she fed the baby the day before.
Symbolic Play:
This child uses symbols for the real world as they engage in make-believe play. This involves more than imagination, it involves aspects of how the child feels about his/her world.
Drawing:
The child does not just scribble anymore, they draw recognizable pictures. They attempt to represent objects or people from their world in their drawing. However, the child‘s art world is not visually accurate. It is how the child thinks.
Menial Images:
The child can pull images from his/her memory about past experience.Language: The child must be able to identify his/her mind the object or person when they are named and to be able to identify an object or person name when they see it.
Transition from home to school:
The child’s transition from home to school at this age may not be cordial, depending on the child’s level of stimulation at home. So caregivers, should expect nostalgia from the children.
Limited Vocabulary
: The pre-primary school child cannot engage in conversation as the adult does, because of its limited vocabulary. However, children who are often spoken to by adolescents are more likely to improve in their communication skill.
Organs of the pre-primary child:
Most of the organs of the child at this level are not well developed. Any child may feel like excreting or urinating at any moment. Once the teacher notices any unusual sign of discomfort of the child, the teacher should quickly approach the child to find out whether the child wants to ease itself or not.
Mob response
: When a child indicates interest to go out and urinate, other children or even the entire class may also indicate interest to go and urinate. They tend to do this in mob.
Attention Span:
Children are not used to sitting still in a place for a long time. They cannot also concentrate on any activity for more than 25 – 35 minutes. The teacher should carry out each school activity and programme within a short time interval.
Playful Age:
Children have limited vocabulary, therefore, they get much of what they want by physical action rather than verbal means and engage in pushing stools, chairs, wheels, etc.
Abhors Competitions:
Teachers should not declare any child as the best in any activity. Competition tends to destroy the cordial relationship that should develop among the children.
Curiosity and Questioning:
As from the age of four, the pre-primary school child is interested in asking questions. Parents and teachers should consider the child’s question as an important aspect of the child’s intellectual development and upbringing.
To understand the major characteristics  of the kindergartners in your class, WILL GREATLY HELP YOU IN DISCHARGE OF YOUR DUTIES AD CAREGIVERS
Can we move to ESSENTIALS OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION THESE  ESSENTIALS MUST BE RELIGIOUSLY IMPLEMENTED BEFORE THE DESIRED GOALS CAN BE ACHIEVED
LETS GO……….
Essentials of Early Childhood Education:

Early childhood education is a unique field of study and practice organized around five important key elements.
Understanding these key foundational components/elements and their interrelationships will help the practitioners develop a clear understanding of what is needed to work with young children.

None of these components can be implemented without the understanding, commitment and hardwork of the classroom teacher/caregiver. They are briefly explained below:
√ Understand Children and Their Development
The first of these essential elements is an understanding of child development and learning. Early childhood educators believe that, educational experiences are based first on children’s needs and interests. To know these needs and interests, adults must understand children, both individually and collectively. By studying child development, teachers of young children, know the normal patterns of behavior for children at specific ages. They also realize that individual differences exist between children, and they can identify those variations. This knowledge helps early childhood teachers select materials and activities that make learning opportunities in the classroom. The Observing development feature will help you to understand children and how they develop. The feature will prompt you to look at aspects of child development—such as, language development, physical skills, social interactions, and understandings of concepts—reflect on what you observe, and consider how you might apply your understanding to children of various ages to maximize their development.

The following vignette illustrates how one effective caregiver applies her understanding of child development with her students:
Mrs. Twins is preparing for the coming week in her kindergarten classroom. She remembers overhearing Emeka and Juliet talking excitedly about the recent class field trip to the zoo. The zoo was particularly interesting to several members of the class. Planning some activities centering on this interest seems appropriate and fun. Mrs. Twins uses her general knowledge of child development and individual differences to select books, computer software, and discussion topics about monkeys, baboons, and gorillas for the coming week.
The approach described above, is very different from the typical procedures used to develop the curriculum in many kindergarten and primary classrooms. Textbooks used by teachers carefully organize and structure the content taught in elementary schools and present it in a specific sequence. In science, for example, the textbook may call for the study of insects first, followed by birds, and later still, the investigation of the zoo. Rather than considering children and their developmental needs and interests first, teachers who use this more structured approach with the kindergarten and primary-grade students allow the teaching materials to dictate the sequence and appropriateness of learning activities.
√ Provide Opportunities to Play
A second essential ingredient found in early childhood programs is the provision of times during the school day in which children can engage in play. Play is one of the major ways in which young children learn about the world around them. Rather than having adults tell children what they need to know, (an efficient strategy for many adult situations), children need the chance to manipulate real materials and learn for themselves important information about their environment. When children have large blocks of time to choose their own materials and playmates, the learning that takes place can be quite amazing and fun. Read this:Kemi and Bolaji are in the block area in their preschool classroom. They are working together building a road, schoolhouse, and a parking garage. Kemi is struggling to find just the right block for her portion of the roadway. Bolaji suggests she try the “long, long one like mine, “and Kemi discovers that his idea solves her problem nicely. As these children continue their play together, they solve additional problems, practice the important skill of cooperation, and indirectly learn about the mathematical properties of their play materials.
While most parents and teachers recognize play as an enjoyable experience for children, many fail to see the learning potential of this important activity. Consequently, play is often viewed as frivolous and therefore is excluded from the more meaningful work experiences in the classroom. Early childhood educators, however, believe that play is a crucial way in which children learn about language, develop intellectual concepts, build social relationships and understandings, strengthen physical skills, and deal with stress. In short, play enhances every aspect of child development and is an essential ingredient in early education.
√ Guide social and emotional development

The third key element of early childhood education emphasizes the importance of guiding the young child’s social and emotional development. Although, educating the mind is critical during the early years, teachers of young children find it equally important to help children develop a strong sense of self to learn to relate in positive ways with adults and peers, and work through the many positive and negative emotions they experience. Guiding young children in these areas, requires a solid background in child development with a sensitive and insightful adult. Read this:Josephine is a quiet but capable kindergarten in Modupe’s classroom. Lately, however her behavior has been less than desirable. Josephine seems distracted and stares out the window much of the day. Miss. Modupe has noticed that Josephine‘s best friend, has been playing with other children more often during recess and decides to discuss this with Josephine. During free choice time, she takes Josephine aside and brings up the issue of Emeka’s friendship. Miss. Modupe’s concern and interest have the desired effect, and Josephine opens up about her sadness at having to share her best friend. They discuss several ideas that could help Josephine feel better about her situation. With follow-up, Miss. Modupe feels that she has made important progress in understanding and helping Josephine.
Some adults may downplay this activity as tangential to the main mission of education, yet Miss. Modupe and other early childhood teachers recognize it as a critical component of their teaching role. The development of effective social skills and the promotion of emotional health are essential elements of the early childhood curriculum. While this makes the teacher’s role more complex, the overall benefits to children are immense and priceless.
√ Work with Parents, Families, and the Community (School & Home Synergy)

The fourth essential element of early childhood education is the development of mutually supportive relationships with parents, families, and the community. Although, this concept has just recently gained support among educators in Nigeria, whereas, teachers of young children in developed countries have had a long tradition of working closely with families and community members. Effective two-way communication, a climate of caring, and the involvement of parents and others in the educational process have proved to provide early childhood teachers, parents, and their children with many benefits as illustrated below:Oluwaseun is in his second year of teaching kindergarten. She tried to communicate with parents and get them involved last year and he has worked even harder this term to build stronger relationships with families and community members. The results have been truly surprising. ‘Seun expected to see greater learners’ progress and satisfaction and is pleased to find these results. An unanticipated result, however, is the value that parents have found in the informal conversations and observations they have during their time in Seun’s classroom. One parent confided that she was learning some very helpful discipline tips from watching Oluwaseun in action. She was using similar techniques at home with good success and feeling much better about this aspect of her parenting. ‘Seun also finds that she is personally benefiting from her work with parents. When they share their special talents in the classroom, for example, ‘Seun is challenged and invigorated by the experiences along with the children. √ Understand and Respect DiversityThe final essential but usually neglected element, is an understanding of, and respect for, the many elements of diversity that have an impact on the lives of young children in the class. Cultural backgrounds and variances due to gender, and physical/mental differences among children all influence development and learning. Furthermore, each of the other four essentials of early childhood mentioned earlier, is impacted by diversity. The following examples help highlight the importance of diversity and its interrelatedness with the other essential areas:Child development and diversity. Two-year-old Kunle has a hearing loss. After being fitted for a hearing aid, the following month, she will start attending an early learning program designed to help her catch up with her peers in oral language development.Guidance and diversity. At group time, the caregiver is introducing Tobi, a new Ondo born child, in his preschool classroom in Lagos. The four-year-old Tolu says: “Teacher, why does his tongue/language sound different from mine?”Play and diversity. After school, 5-year-old Dammy likes to get out her paint set and create imaginative pictures using a variety of vibrant colors. Her twin brother, Segun, prefers racing around the compound on his bicycle, weaving around a self-constructed obstacle course. This shows that there is diversity among children even in a twins and must be encouraged.Parents and diversity. At the Open Day, a 5-year-old Angela has just introduced her caregiver to Mr. & Mrs. Babajide, his two parents. They mentioned their interest in occasionally helping out in the classroom. This should be encouraged too.
Do you all agree to the DOs and DON’T s highlighted in the video How have you been stimulating children  before watching the video ?
Ofcourse, there are other essentials  in ecce but the ones highlighted  and illustrated with examples are necessary
Educators in the house,  at pre school level which include kindergarten,  the word TEACHING in the real sense of it SHOULD  BE AVOIDED WHILE STIMULATION AND CARING SHOULD  BE PREFERED FOR OBVIOUS REASONS TEACHING  MAY BE TOO STRONG FOR THE CHILDREN AS AGAINST PUPILS USED AT PRIMARY LEVEL… BECAUSE,   THE SUBJECTS TAUGHT AT PRY SCH ARE RADICALLY DIFFERENT FROM PRE SCHOOL…. LAGOS STATE NEEDS COMMENDATION IN THIS REGARDS
STIMULATION IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION CENTRE

Stimulation is a process whereby a caregiver uses learning materials and other resources to facilitate children’s interest in learning.
The goal is to create a child-friendly environment where children are inspired to play and learn.
The Caregiver should be skilled and have access to a wide range of materials to successfully engage them in the learning process.

Stimulation is a process whereby a caregiver provides and arranges a variety of age-appropriate learning activities, materials and applies child friendly methods needed to arouse and sustain the interest which will ensure full participation of children in the learning process.
Stimulating Activities for Learning Domains:

Cognitive Domain: Storytelling, singing, drama, puzzles, block building, reading, writing, playing with words, songs and rhymes, etc.

Psychomotor Domain: Tasks and activities that will enhance both fine and gross motor development should be provided. For example:- fine motor: painting, drawing, modeling, tracing, dressing up oneself, etc.
– gross motor: jumping, clapping, drumming, dancing etc.
√ Affective/Socio-emotional: Sharing, cheering, hugging, decision making, turn taking, playing, dancing, crying, etc

√ Characteristics of a Stimulating Environment:

The following are some of the characteristics of stimulating environment:
Children are actively involved in the teaching and learning process.
The environment is child-friendly, and child-centred in terms of methodology, activities, materials, etc.
Learning materials are readily available for use.It promotes creativity and two-waycommunication.It is accessible to parents and other stakeholders whereby, they work together to enhance the progress of the centre.

It encourages children’s regular attendance to the centre which eventually promotes; admission, retention and completion of programme.

√ The Role of the Caregiver in Stimulating Environment:

The Caregiver can sing to a child while looking into his/her eyes, hug, pat, provide materials that will aid him to walk, sit, paint, draw, contribute to the class work etc.
Children are stimulated when caregivers smile at them, call their names, ask of their parents’ wellbeing, etc.
Caregiver uses various methods of handling instruction like dramatization, role play, dancing, jumping, clapping, singing, etc.Strategies to enhance stimulation:
PlayRole playingDramatizationStory tellingSongs and rhymesProjectsField trips/excursionsHunting of insects and other nature searchDemonstration, etc.

 

√ The 7Es + s Lesson Planning for Caregivers:The 7Es+s initiative provides a clear framework for designing lesson planning for children. If followed professionally, it will guide caregivers through the way of delivering lesson with mix activities.
They are explained below:  Elicit: find out what the children know by eliciting responses from them. This can be done via Quick Quizes, questions etc.
Engage:
this comes before or after the elicit stage. This stage, you want to engage interest and curiosity, raise “the BIG questions” and provide the HOOK for why the students want to learn.
Explore:
children are given opportunities to work together, independent of you. Set up the task and become the facilitator and observer.
Explain:
see what children have discovered in the explore stage to help them build a concept. Ask them to explain their discoveries in their own way.
Extend:
encourage the children to apply or extend the concepts and skills in new situations. It is a suggestion for taking the children beyond the lesson and it is children’s driven activity.
Elaborate
: children are expected to work directly on the given task. It gives them the opportunity to demonstrate their application of new information and present their findings.
Evaluate:
this is a phase where the caregiver evaluates the learning that has occurred
Standard:
the lesson taught are matched with the NERDC, State or School self designed curriculum. It is an opportunity to ascertain if the desired goals are being achieved.
It is equally imperative to state here that, the structure of the lesson note for pre school and kindergarten  IS DIFFERENT FROM ITS SISTER- PRIMARY SCH CLASSES.. SAMPLES OF SUCH ARE RE PRODUCED HERE
Samples of Lesson Note for Pre-Schools

To write lesson note for primary and secondary schools has not posed so mush difficulties like pre-schools. Therefore, this unit will xray the special features of pre-school lesson plan:

Name (optional)DateTimePeriodSubjectTopicSub-topicSpecific objectives (not more than 3)Target vocabularyResource materialsPrintablesSong, games and activitiesContent/ProceduresSummary/EvaluationCaregiver’s signature and Date
Conclusion:

 

They say caregiving is an easy job that everybody can do it. This is a total wrong notion because teaching at this level, by far, one of the most complex professions that require specialized expertise and pedagogical skills. It is not only important to possess knowledge but, the ability to impart knowledge than anything else to the children is imperative. And only a few people that are professionally trained can do it effectively.We gathered here today as professional to examine the new NPE (6th edition) as it affects ECCE practices in Nigeria, xray what the policy says about this level of education and how is being implemented. The ultimate goal is to bridge the gap among the curriculum, theories and policy.Thank you for your contribution.
Parting gift ..

Pre school, to use your preferred term, is a specialized programme that requires specialized professionals that have been trained in Colleges of education or Faculty of Education of d University with bias in Early childhood Care and EducationOr those immersed in specialized trainings in ECCDE and other allied courses ..Without these categories of personnel ,the desired goals can’t be achieved …