Creating Community within Early Childhood Environments: Educating Citizens Through Play in the Early Years; Speaking with Children to Support their Thinking; and Reading and Discussion around Teacher Tom's book, Teaching and Learning from Preschoolers.
Educating Citizens Through Play in the Early Years
Teacher Tom will speak about how children’s play brings the habits and principles of democracy into early years programs and kindergarten classrooms. He will begin by discussing the purpose of education in democratic societies and how and why we have managed to veer so far from the original intent, which is to educate citizens capable of contributing to the grand experiment of self governance. In this full-throated support for play-based education, he will detail through his illustrative classroom stories and examples from his book exactly how his curriculum works. Participants will learn the benefits of introducing these playful principles into their own students, the hallmarks of what makes a good citizen both in a classroom as well as a democracy, the traits and habits required for self-governance, and practical tips on how to implement these ideas in their own classrooms. It will be an inspiring, often touching, often hilarious, and always eye-opening and empowering presentation.
Speaking with Children to Support their Thinking
In a very real sense, the language we use creates reality. In this session, Teacher Tom will use stories from his book and classroom to demonstrate how the specific words we use, and how and when we use them, creates reality for our students for both good and bad. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the importance of: being clear and precise with language; honouring children without commanding or bossing them; using words to create a world of facts and intrinsic motivation; creating space in which children must do their own thinking and make their own decisions; and supporting children as they learn from the natural consequences of their behaviours.
Readings and Discussion
In the afternoon session, Teacher Tom will tell stories and read selected passages from his book, and then lead reflective discussions about the underlying principles and how they can be applied in individual settings. This will be an opportunity for participants to more deeply explore ideas and concepts from the morning sessions, explore questions, and reflect upon how they impact upon their own classrooms.
Cost includes a continental breakfast, lunch, three workshop sessions and Teacher Tom’s First Book Teaching and Learning from Preschoolers
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