Dubai Women’s College (DWC) Education faculty and students held a forum for government kindergarten teachers and other stakeholders in the early childhood education sector at Dubai Women’s College on April 21.
The forum featured workshops in which participants were able to both network with other early childhood specialists and follow their own professional interests. Plenary sessions addressed by speakers from the KHDA, and other experts in the field further supported the need to form and maintain effective partnerships to support learning and development in the early childhood sector.
According to Maitha, a forum participant, the practical nature of the workshop was inspiring, in particular ‘Developing Early writing Skills’.
She said ‘This workshop was based on the fact that young children are naturally active and that teachers should exploit this in their teaching. It was good to learn about some ways in which I can apply this to the development of writing skills which is often seen as a ‘sit at a desk’ activity, in my classroom.’
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.
The Early Childhood Bachelor of Education program was launched at Dubai Women’s College 5 years ago and has been extremely popular with the college students who have chosen to train as teachers.
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.
The College is well advanced with plans to open its own Early Childhood Education Centre to cater for the needs of student mothers in its own community as well as to serve as a research facility for Education students and faculty.
DWC is one of three Higher Colleges of Technology offering a four year bachelor’s degree program in Early Childhood Education and has already sent out its first cohort of teachers with this specialization into the workforce.
It is expected that these and future graduates contribute to the continuing development of early years education consistent with the vision of the college’s partners in the Ministry of Education, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) and in the kindergartens.
Over the past five 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.