Dubai Women’s College (DWC) Education faculty and students organized recently a forum for government kindergarten teachers and other stakeholders in the early childhood education sector at Dubai Women’s College Campus.
The event was mounted by Dubai Women’s College to bring together more than 200 teachers in government kindergartens and other early childhood education specialists to provide opportunities for skill-sharing in classroom practice and methodology.
This is consistent with the commitment of the Education Department of the college to the promotion of child-centred teaching and learning which recognizes the individual child’s interests and the value of firsthand experience and interaction with the environment as part of development.
The forum featured workshops in which participants were able to follow their own professional interests as well as plenary sessions addressed by speakers from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), Gulf Montessori and its role in formulating the new National Childcare Standards and Arabian Child, all with strong interests in early childhood education in the UAE.
Dr. Behjat Al Yousuf, Associate Director at DWC said that the Early Childhood Bachelor of Education program was launched at Dubai Women’s College 4 years ago and has been extremely popular with the college students who have chosen their career as teacher.
“The program aims to provide students with the insights and skills necessary to work with and teach young children from infancy through to the start of their formal school years in safe and developmentally appropriate settings,” she added.
The program leader for the Bachelor of Education, Early Childhood Education program Mr. Sean Ingoldsby stressed the importance of gatherings such as these to strengthen ties between DWC, the KHDA and the local kindergartens which the program is actually designed to support.
“Providing opportunities for dialogue and the sharing of new and innovative practices with fellow professionals is critical if the quality of early childhood educational provision is to continue to evolve to meet the needs of the 21st century,” he added.
According to Maitha, a participant, an example of a very instructive workshop was Ideas for active learners. “This workshop was based on the fact that young children are naturally active and that teachers should use this knowledge in their teaching. It was good to learn about some ways in which I can do this confidently in my classroom,” she said.
DWC is one of three Higher Colleges of Technology offering a four year bachelor’s degree program in Early Childhood Education and is about to graduate and send out into the workforce its first cohort of teachers with this specialization.
Over the past four years, DWC student teachers and faculty have built strong relationships with local kindergartens through an ongoing schedule of teaching practice which has encouraged dialogue and an exchange of ideas that continues to benefit both parties.