Adding fun to classrooms for improved learning
Powerful Learning Around You (PLAY) ECD training course aims to enhance the capacity of ECD and foundation phase educators to facilitate learning through play.
Lisa Ramela has always known that she would one day help mould future leaders and positively impact the lives of children. She therefore embraced the suggestion from her sister to establish an early childhood development (ECD) centre.
Lisa is the owner and principal of Rainbow Kids Daycare which is located in Atteridgeville, west of Pretoria. Many children in this community come from homes with limited access to piped water and regular electricity but the two classrooms Lisa built for them are friendly, colourful spaces where they are free to learn, play and be safe.
Lisa hopes to expand the size of the centre and to get new equipment and is doing what she can to improve the experience for children, including learning new tools that she can implement in her curriculum. It is this quest that led her to the Powerful Learning Around You (PLAY) ECD training course.
Funded by the LEGO Foundation and endorsed by UNICEF, the Department of Basic Education and Cotlands, the course aims to enhance the capacity of ECD and foundation phase educators to facilitate learning through play.
The course has modules that focus on the holistic development of children (including fine motor skills and broader cognitive development) and activities to help support, develop and stimulate children. “I was able to complete it in just two days,” Lisa explains.
On the other side of the city, Teacher’s Assistant at the Pretoria Chinese School, Maria Gorete De Ascensao, who also took the PLAY course, describes the changes she’s seen in the children she helps teach. “After implementing what I learned, I began to see that when you teach children through play, they enjoy it and learn more,” she says. Like Lisa, she also does not have a formal teaching qualification and so, to expand her skills and become better at what she does, she decided to take up the PLAY course.
Lisa and Maria both encourage any educator, regardless of their level of education, to take up the PLAY course and make learning more fun in their classroom.
The two educators are just two of 280,017 ECD practitioners and educators who have successfully completed the PLAY SA course and implemented the concept of adding fun to learning in an effective and engaging way.