Early Childhood Development (ECD) Programme 2016 – Motivation is key!
A key component of our ECD programme is to motivate the ECD teachers we work with to make changes so that they increase the development of the children in their care. Coleman and Glover state that, “…successful education depends upon motivation at all levels”. Two of the strategies for increasing motivation are ‘recognition and encouragement’ and ‘setting goals and giving feedback’. We try to put these into action through the ECD programme.
One of the big ways that we do this is through child assessments. At the start of the year we assess two children from each crèche to see how they are progressing in regards to the developmental milestones for their age. This sets a baseline that we monitor through the year with two further assessments.
The assessments at the start of the year can leave teachers feeling surprised and discouraged as often children are very low on the number of milestones they can achieve especially cognitive ones. However this gives us the opportunity to remind them of their influence and role as an ECD teacher (recognition) and encourage them that they have the ability to help their children progress so that by the end of the year they can achieve so much more (setting goals). Through workshops focusing on key areas of child development, demonstrating practical developmental activities they can use and fortnightly support visits from an ECD monitor we continue to praise and encourage, set goals and give feedback. This process, for the majority of teachers, leads to a growth in motivation and we begin to see change.
It was therefore with great joy that we celebrated the end of the 2016 programme in November. We used this session to reflect on everything that had been achieved. One of the big things to celebrate was the data we gathered from the final child assessments that the teachers helped to carry out at the end of October. So many of the children had really progressed during the year and were now able to meet many of their developmental milestones that at the start of the year they were unable to do. This was such an encouragement for the teachers as it was their hard work put into action through developmental activities that led to this growth in the children. They had achieved the goals set out and they could see the results. As the teachers fed back the impact of the programme, so many of them spoke of the growth in self confidence, the realisation that they could do this! The teachers had become motivated and because of this the education levels for the children had risen and hopefully will continue to do so into the future.