To cultivate innovation...

To cultivate innovation...

Useful Toys and games help students understand the concepts comprehensively.

Each child is unique and he or she processes information about the world using different senses. Some are auditory learners, some visual learners and some are kinaesthetic learners. The teaching methodology implemented in a preschool should cater to all these learning styles. Preschool teachers have a great responsibility as they are part of the foundation years of children. They need to be attentive to each child’s learning style and teach accordingly. This is where training plays an important role; it is the responsibility of the school to train teachers on how to figure out the child’s learning style and ways in which the child can be taught, for a lasting impact.

The future is unpredictable since technology has invaded our lives and there are still a whole lot of revolutions coming our way that we haven’t even pre-empted yet. As the world is fast progressing, it is important that we empower children with skills that will help them face the challenges. Content is no longer the crux of education that is available at the touch of a button today. Skills like critical thinking, problem-solving and abilities like persistence, managing impulsivity, collaboration etc., will equip children to meet the changing world. As educators, it is our responsibility to shape children who can sail through uncertain times as they grow. We can already see change coming our way, jobs that were sought after years ago don’t even exist today. 

Instructional design is an important part of a preschool today. There are various theories, like the multiple intelligence, higher-order thinking skills, neuroscience on how the brain learns best, that can be used whilst teaching a child. Schools should develop their own curriculum based on all these theories. 

Children’s involvement

One key technique a teacher can use is to observe each child and determine his or her learning style, prior knowledge and then start building on the base. This will have a lasting impact on children. The biggest objective of any classroom should be to capture the attention of young minds and putting across information for long-term retrieval and application. 

Educators should understand that learning is an active process and must stress on children’s involvement. The teacher has to ensure that all children are engaged and that they are learning what is being taught to them. For this, she needs to make the class as interactive as possible. Teaching children is no longer a mundane job, it requires teachers to think and work creatively, hence schools need to have a robust training team for teachers. Trained teachers can make classroom experiences highly engaging with the implementation of innovative teaching methods. This includes focused learning outcomes with a balance of guided and child-initiated play, with supervised adult interaction.
Various techniques that can be used in class are:

Integrate technology: Showing children videos or pictures on the subject always helps. Children grasp visuals faster. This, in turn, improves their visualisation skills. 

Create learning aid: Create a worksheet on the topic or use toys to explain the topics. In the case of life in and around water, all sea creatures can be used. Ask them questions, state facts, use audio-clips of sounds each sea creature makes etc.

Differentiated instruction: Use different techniques for different kinds of learners. An audio clip can be used for an auditory learner, while a visual learner can see a video.

Goal-setting: Involving children in the learning process is important, hence let children set a goal for themselves and then give them a reward for achieving their goal. This motivates children.

Parent involvement: Parents also need to be introduced to the innovative methods of teaching; they need to be guided on how to engage children at home. It is important to make parents our partners in educating the child. So, schools need to involve parents to facilitate active learning outside the school environment. Studies indicate that children whose parents participate in their learning process tend to do better in school. For example, share worksheets on how to teach children while in a shopping mall, give simple tasks children can do and share the learning outcomes.  

Think out of the box: Children are brilliant and if encouraged, they can go places. Hence, when children attempt to do something new, encourage them, correct them and show them the way ahead. 

Assessment: The assessment should be connected to the curriculum’s learning objectives as stated in the monthly plans. The focus should be on the process of learning rather than the product.

The most significant aspect is that teachers should continuously keep upgrading, studying, reading and educating themselves on how to teach children better.  

(The author is founder, Kangaroo Kids Education Ltd)