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The Power of Play: Singapore Early Childhood Education Chinese Symposium 2021

“Bright Beginnings: The Power of Play in Early Childhood Education” – the theme of this year’s Singapore Early Childhood Education Chinese Symposium is into its fifth year and took place virtually on the 7th of August 2021.

Jointly organised by SUSS’ Centre for Chinese Studies and S R Nathan School of Human Development, the event was kicked off by two heavyweight keynote speakers, Professor Hua Aihua, Director of the Department of Preschool Education at East China Normal University, and Ms Cheng Xueqin, creator and designer of the Anji Play philosophy and approach, who are prominent figures in the early childhood education sector. The event attracted an audience of over 800 people! 

The Power of Play at work in the Early Childhood Symposium

Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, President of SUSS, shared in his opening remarks that play is something that is largely universal and is a great way to help our children relate well to one another, irrespective of race, language, culture and background, especially in multi-racial, multi-cultural Singapore. He added that SUSS offers a continuing education (CET) module titled “Play-based Early Education in Anji”, and the university plans to incorporate it into its Bachelor and Master Early Childhood Education programmes as an elective subject in the days to come.

SUSS President, Prof Cheong Hee Kiat, sharing his opening remarks with the audience.

So what is Anji play? Anji Play is the result of a reflective journey that witnessed a change in early childhood education from No Play to False Play (teacher-directed) to True Play (child-directed), explained Ms Cheng.

Based on the five principles of Anji Play, namely, Love, Risk, Engagement, Joy and Reflection, the perspectives of early childhood education evolved into creating the right conditions for True Play and True Learning, yet not setting any rigid rules for play. Preschoolers not only get to use their imagination and thinking ability in “free play”, they also derive immense enjoyment from it. 

Furthermore, according to Prof Hua, we need to recognise that children see the world differently, and the more teachers let go, the better children perform. Teachers can then observe how children display their aptitudes and provide the appropriate support.

Prof Hua also explained the use of existing resources to create conducive conditions for play and to achieve educational goals by reducing the class duration and increasing “free play” activities.

In addition, both speakers addressed a common concern among the preschool teachers in the audience; that is, how to engage parents and garner their support for the Anji Play approach. Over the Q&A session, the speakers also shared success stories from overseas kindergartens that had adopted the Anji Play approach.

Over the symposium, four local preschool teachers also discussed how play is incorporated in their teaching and the significance of play-based learning. Their presentations, especially the challenges they had faced, resonated with many of the attendees who were preschool teachers themselves.

“The concept of Anji Play has increased my awareness of play in early childhood education”, “The different ideas shared by the local teachers are helpful and relevant to practitioners”, and “I hope to learn more about the Anji Play approach and to visit their kindergartens” – these were some of the positive and heartwarming feedback received from the participants who had attended this year’s symposium.

We hope to host our preschool educators again and looking forward to raising our industry’s collective knowledge in early childhood education to the next level!

Read more on the event coverage: https://www.8world.com/singapore/suss-new-course-1551466

 

2021新加坡学前教育论坛:戏学相长·点亮童年
 
第五届新加坡学前教育论坛于2021年8月7日(星期六)在网上举行,与会者超过800人。
 
本届论坛的主题为“戏学相长·点亮童年”,主讲嘉宾为华东师范大学的华爱华教授和安吉游戏创建人程学琴科长。下半场则有四位本地学前教育老师分享他们把游戏融入教学中的方法和个中的挑战。
 
有与会者说:“安吉游戏的概念改变了我对游戏教学的认识”、“四位本地老师的分享对幼教工作者具有实际帮助”、“希望能进一步学习安吉游戏的教学法,有机会去参观安吉园所”。
 
新跃社科大学校长张起杰教授在开场时表示,本校将提供一门进修课——安吉游戏学前教育,并计划将这门课纳入本校的学前教育学士和硕士课程,作为一门选修课。
 
张校长指出,本地幼儿园有不同种族、文化、家庭背景的孩子,希望孩子在成长的过程中会懂得接纳和包容彼此。游戏能够让大家一起参与,这创造了绝佳的机会让孩子能够互相理解。
 
华爱华教授在其演说中讲解如何改变无游戏状态,利用当地资源开发游戏教具,通过减少上课,增加区域活动,在游戏中落实教学目标。看似纯粹的游戏,其实安吉游戏具有抛砖引玉的效益。华教授指出,我们必须认识成人与儿童世界的区别。教师越放手,儿童越能干,进而从游戏和活动中学习。教师通过观察来了解儿童是如何发挥潜能,并给予支持。
 
程学琴科长分享了学前教育从无游戏到“假游戏”,再到“真游戏”的发展历程和教学方针。安吉游戏的五大关键词是爱、冒险、投入、喜悦和反思,并以此改变教育观,为儿童的“真游戏”和“真学习”创造条件,但不预设游戏规范。儿童不但得以从自主游戏中发挥想象力和思考能力,也能得到莫大的乐趣。
 
两位主讲人也谈及如何令家长认同安吉游戏教学法,消除了许多出席论坛的幼教老师的顾虑。在由陈如意副教授主持的交流环节中,两位主讲人都十分耐心地解答各种疑问,并提出安吉游戏教学法在海外的成功例子。
 
下半场的四位本地幼教老师分享他们是如何把游戏融入教学中,以及通过游戏进行教学的意义。他们也提出个中的挑战,反映了在场幼教老师的心声。与会者的提问此起彼落,四位老师毫不吝啬地以自身的经验和知识来回答和讨论,并分享他们开创游戏的灵感来源。
 
2021新加坡学前教育论坛是由新跃中华学术中心和纳丹人力发展学院联合主办。
 
相关报导:https://www.8world.com/singapore/suss-new-course-1551466
 

 

 

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