George Brown College Early Childhood Education Students Visit Jamaica
This past January brought with it many exciting rewards and challenges for 10 Early Childhood Education Students and 2 Nursing Students from George Brown College. These 12 students had the good fortune to complete their final practicum experience in Jamaica for the month of January. While there, they were housed at Shortwood Teachers’ College for the first two weeks of January and then moved into homestays with Jamaican families who opened their homes and shared their culture, food and of course stories.
In placement, some students attended schools in Portmore while others were in Kingston. They experienced the love and energy from children aged 3 months to 6 years and planned curriculum that supported play-based learning which has now become an expectation from the Ministry of Education in Jamaica. During the school hours, the students integrated their curriculum along with the Jamaica curriculum and the children then had the opportunity to learn through both the academic and hands on approach. The children engaged in all types of learning to support their whole self which includes their physical, social, emotional, cognitive and communication skills. The best part of watching the students and children in action was hearing the laughter. There is nothing better than that sound as you know children are truly having fun and isn’t that was learning is all about?
The 2 nursing students had the privilege of working along side the ECE students in all the schools which gave them an opportunity to understand child development through hands on learning rather than through text books. These students integrated curriculum that supported good health and hygiene practices through role playing and stories.
The nursing students also provided free Blood Pressure Clinics for those living in the community as well as staff at the schools. They shared their understanding of hypertension as well as good health practices during information sessions and pamphlets. I’m sure you can just imagine how well received this clinic was.
During the month, with the request from the Early Childhood Commission, George Brown College and PACE representatives planned and prepared workshops for over 400 participants across the island. These workshops included Effective Leadership Strategies for Principals and Leaders within the school and for the full day training the focus was on:
- Meaningful and Intentional Pedagogical Observation Documentation and Assessment;
- Environments as the 3rd Teacher
As you can see by the titles, a lot of thought and preparation went into the planning, but the most important aspect of these trainings was the outcome from the participants. Many thought-provoking questions and celebrations were shared.