Tuesday, 9 May 2017

making changes... (Palestine)

One of the great honours of being a part of this course being held for educators in Jenin, Palestine is seeing things they have learned about, or been inspired by put into action... and more importantly seeing these being positively received, by the educators, the parents and most importantly the children too.

Many of the teachers reported that their children had said that sitting inside at the table learning to write was their least favourite part of the day, I have also visted some of the kindergartens/preschools and have seen that space is a premium in many of them... many children in a small indoor space... so taking to the outdoors I feel is an important next step for learning and play.
Not only because outdoors it will be easier for the educators to create that play/learn/work cocktail that is so beneficial for children but also as there is more space for the children too. The weather in Jenin seldom gets cold for the children to need gloves etc outside... in fact my experience of their short winter is that it is colder inside than outside then...
the problem will be keeping the children cool and safe from the blaring sun during the long summer... ensuring there is ample shade outside.

I had shared images of  Palestinian bedouin tents to inspire for a reading corner/area both inside and outside...  and at one of the kindergarten/preschools a large tented area was created in their garden... they are lucky to have such a large garden, that until the course started was not being used to its full potential.

here are some images taken by Kauther, who runs the kindergarten of the new outdoor area for reading, role-play.... and as I left there were ideas to taking construction materials into the tented area too. The role-play was with traditional Palestinian artefacts... as a way to allow the children to feel pride and connection with their cultural heritage...

at both ends of the tented area books are made available.. making sure the fronts of the books are visible to entice the children to read.

some of the artefacts available for role-play

a front view of the outdoor reading and role-play area
in action... story telling

roleplay in action

a final view of the area... situated among the olive trees. A walled garden paradise in Jenins refugee camp.

In the summer there can be more fabric placed over the top to create shade. The content of the tent can be rotated... sometimes for role-play, sometimes construction, story telling - maybe art and experiments?
Maybe sometimes a smaller version can be made? Or several ones... like a small village with little homes?
There are so many possibilities when taking learning outside.