A workshop on reflective writing with early childhood educators
On Saturday, 15 May 2019, the Educational Research and Development Programme/ A.M. Qattan Foundation organised a workshop on reflective writing with the early childhood educators involved in the programme who have completed practising or applying the Mantle of the Expert approach with their students.
The workshop, which comes within the context of the Early Childhood Professional Development Programme, was moderated by Malik al-Rimawi, Manager of the ERDP Languages and Humanities Track.
Lesson plans are developed from ideas sketched on paper to writing based on rethinking learning behaviours in class. The workshop started with the teachers reading the story of “The Cat in the Rain”. This was followed by an analysis of writing levels through textual analysis, discourse analysis and critical analysis which approach the text as an expression of competing social relations and ideologies.
In another type of analysis, the workshop moved to analyse news reports written by the educators about their experience in implementing the Mantle of the Expert approach. Early childhood educators identified the elements in each report and discussed whether the photos fit the reports and if reports reflect the educators’ experience. Based on the discussion, participants performed a still image with their bodies to express the story of the Mantle.
Each educator wrote a report about her experience, within the elements and questions extracted from the lesson plans included in the reports. Those reports pointed out the goals and values each project aimed to teach, in addition to the difficulties, challenges and how teams were formed within the Mantle. Reports also mentioned interactions and emotions triggered in the children by the Mantle, and the roles the educator played, in addition to the outcomes and effects of the mantle on both, the children and the educator.
The workshop was followed by an individual writing exercise, which includes describing a lesson plan for a Mantle of the Expert and reflecting on its impact on the educator and the children during its implementation. Plans are developed with each educator to produce complete and mature texts that express a plan for implementing the Mantle of the Expert as an alternative educational approach for kindergartens.
This workshop is part of a series of meetings conducted by the ERDP this year with early childhood educators, which will be concluded with a study day.