A professional development programme for implementing indigenous play-based pedagogy in Grade-R’s.
Good day everyone, Today's presentation is all about promoting professional development for teachers and school sport coaches. This will include aspects of physical education and Olympic education within Grade-R's current school curriculum.
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Pre-primary schooling is children's educational foundation, every stage of education that follows relies on its success. Enrolling a child for Grade-R is not only vital for laying a good foundation, but it also sets the tone for the rest of their schooling life. This is where Physical Education as well as the inclusion of Olympic Education comes into play. Physical Education (PE) develops students' competence and confidence to take part in a range of physical activities that become a central part of their lives, both in and out of school. A high-quality PE-curriculum enables all students to enjoy and succeed in many kinds of physical activity. They develop a wide range of skills and the ability to use tactics, strategies and compositional ideas to perform successfully. Throughout history, sports have played a variety of important functions in society as a form of recreation; preparation for war or the hunt; or later, as a substitute for war. Sports have undergone many changes; some have stayed much the same (e.g. wrestling); while others have adapted with the times. New sports are always being invented and developed. Physical Education was introduced into the South African curriculum as PT drill that was borrowed from the British system. This system comprised English ball games and military manoeuvres on the one hand and the gymnastic freestanding and apparatus work from continental origin on the other. In the English public or elite schools, ball games remained popular, while gymnastics and military manoeuvres never enjoyed the same status. The reverse was true for elementary or the poorer schools.
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The early 20th Century was characterised by an increasing interest in the gymnastics and drill aspect of PT. However, gymnastics and drill were more popular in mission schools, whereas the playing of games that later evolved into organised sport, were more popular at elite boys' schools. The PT drill that was introduced in the mission schools had as its main aim discipline for the purpose of social control. Many pupils at these schools therefore never valued it as highly as playing games. In addition, PT was more widespread in girls' schools. Boys' schools introduced PT much later into their curriculum and organised themselves around sports leagues in team games. Mission schools in the Western and Eastern Cape did the same. However, mission schools were marginalised from mainstream school sport competition and therefore PT and not school sport, provided purposeful movement participation opportunity for these learners. In South Africa, PE underwent several policy-related restructurings, from being a stand-alone subject (prior to 1994) to Outcomes Based Education (Curriculum 2005, cited in Van Deventer 2011), resulting in the reduction of PE as one of the learning outcomes in Life Skills (LS) (Grades R– 6) and Life Orientation (Grades 7–12). Currently Physical Education is being taught as part of the school-subject, Life Skills, whereas school sport is presented as an extra curricular activity either individually or team-based. Physical Education today is more theory-based and school sport is practically-based. Physical Education is taught by teachers and school sport by coaches. I see the future of PE and school sport in South Africa progressing and becoming more of a "big deal". I do also think that PE and school sport will be implemented from a younger age which is essentially good for a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
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The teaching model that I base my Professional Development event on is the following: Cooperative Learning, In this model the students take greater responsibility for their own learning and also help their classmates learn. Unlike the other models, the cooperative learning model is less prescriptive in the layout of the lesson, but rather provides a wealth of student-centered activities that can be used either separately or in conjunction with another model. The best example of cooperative learning in practice is called 'Jigsaw', whereby students are first put in to teams (base groups) at the start of the lesson. Student may then compete in an activity or game with their base group After, students in each base group will be assigned a specialist role/responsibility or number. Students will then meet up in specialist groups with members from opposing teams. Together they explore a skill or tactic (or other area needing improvement) until they feel competent in their understanding. Students will then return to the base groups with their new specialist knowledge in-hand and take turns teaching each other what they've learnt. To wrap up the lesson, students return to the task or game from the beginning of the lesson and see if they have improved their performance. This approach to learning is excellent for developing the whole-child (physical, social and affective domains) and places students solely at the center of their learning experience. In order to deliver this model effectively requires careful and thorough planning (from groupings to resources), a willingness to take risks, and it is helpful if students have experienced student-centered/independent learning strategies previously.
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The value that Physical Education has for Grade-R learners are that they develop the confidence to take part in different physical activities and learn about the value of healthy, active lifestyles. It helps students develop personally and socially, they work as individuals, in groups and in teams, developing concepts of fairness and of personal and social responsibility. Physical education allows the child to develop skills, especially in sport such as the following physical aspects in sport: Movement Performance Agility Balance Co-ordination Strength Although Physical Education is vital for these children, so is Olympic Education. Olympic Education needs to be included in the curriculum of these young children, as it not only introduces them to the Internationally recognised Olympic Games but to their values as an entity. Olympic Education can teach these children about strong values that they can use not only in sport but also in their everyday social lives. These values of Olympism are three core values of and are a central focus at the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games and include: Excellence Respect Friendship
Pierre de Coubertin's influence on Educational, Sport and Physical Education: Pierre de Coubertin (1863– 1937), the founder of the modern Olympic Games, understood the importance of emotion and imagination as educational tools. In organising the Games, he integrated sports with culture. He created symbols and encouraged ceremonies, music, and pageantry. These artistic and cultural experiences help to make the Olympic Games different from all other sporting events and provide a basis for values education activities in a variety of curriculum areas as well as sport and physical education. He believed that young people needed to train their bodies as well as their minds and advocated for the practice of sport and physical activity at schools in his country. He thought that his ideas would receive good publicity if he organised an international sporting event based on the ancient Olympic Games of Greece, to promote the development of those physical and moral qualities which are the basis of sport. He wanted to educate young people through sport in a spirit of better understanding between each other, and of friendship, thereby helping to build a better and more peaceful world as well as to spread the Olympic principles throughout the world, thereby creating international goodwill. He also wanted to bring together athletes of the world in the great four-yearly sports festival, the Olympic Games.
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The educational values of the Olympic Movement, the joy of effort in sport and physical activity, fair play, respect for others, striving for excellence, and balance between body, will and mind—have relevance and application far beyond the context of sport. Activities that focus on the development of these values can contribute to the development of learning outcomes in many different subject areas. We can use this in today's current education curriculum when educating these young children on the importance of physical education and implementing the values of Olympism and that what Pierre de Coubertin believed in. The Olympic Charter is the codification of the fundamental principles of Olympism, and the rules and bye-laws adopted by the International Olympic Committee. It governs the organisation, actions and functioning of the Olympic Movement and establishes the conditions for the celebration of the Olympic Games. Its view on physical education is to promote the fundamental principles and values of Olympism in the respective countries, in particular, in the fields of sport and education, by promoting Olympic educational programmes in all levels of schools, sports and physical education institutions and universities, as well as by encouraging the creation of institutions dedicated to Olympic education, such as National Olympic Academies, Olympic Museums and other programmes, including cultural, related to the Olympic Movement.
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The Olympic moto which is "Citius, Altius, Fortius" are Latin words, they mean "Faster, Higher, Stronger". This motto sums up the Olympian value of striving for excellence, and being the very best that one can. It expresses the aspirations of the Olympic Movement not only in its athletic and technical sense but also from a moral and educational perspective. The Olympic Oath which is "In the name of all competitors, I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honour of our teams." This oath is put in place to deter athletes from cheating which is morally wrong, the oaths taken by athletes, coaches and officials during the opening ceremony are an important Olympic protocol. The Olympic oath can be used as the basis for an activity to explore the problems of cheating in sport in both ancient and modern times. By instilling these oaths, the integrity of the games is upheld and everyone is treated fairly and with respect. Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, it seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles (Olympic Charter, 2020). Teachers and learners can both benefit from this philosophy as it can be seen as a way of life. Olympism as a philosophy of life, benefits all in following a balanced lifestyle, when teachers, teach this way, learners will start their life philosophy the correct way. Olympism can be seen as a guide for teachers to follow not only for themselves but also to teach from and improving their overall performance as an individual and as a teacher.
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Through the range of experiences that PE offers , these children learn how to be effective in competitive, creative and challenging situations which goes hand-in-hand with the aspects of Olympic Education. Our aims as teachers and coaches should be to: nurture sportsmanship in all aspects of competition widen each student's sporting experience and enjoyment create a passion for active recreation and sport assist students in reaching their physical potential in a variety of sporting environments. The purpose of this event is to up skill you as teachers and coaches in the above-mentioned aspects of sport. We want you to gain the adequate knowledge to teach or coach these children effectively and to the best of your teaching abilities. The question is where do we begin?
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Firstly we need to understand the rationale behind this professional development event, which is why educators need the extra support such as the professional development event? New teachers juggle an overwhelming number of unfamiliar issues, such as classroom management, instruction, curriculum, school culture and operations, administration, parent relations, and interactions with other teachers. This takes up staggering amount of their time, leaving little or none time available for them to apply themselves physically to their learners curriculum. Thus with extra support, however, new teachers learn more effective practices to apply to daily challenges, it also helps retain new teachers and set them on the path to becoming effective educators. Many school systems provide mentors and induction programs for novice teachers. Most importantly, new teachers who receive intensive mentoring have a significant effect on student achievement. It is important as teachers and coaches to understand the interests and needs of our learners and based on that to design and create relevant pedadogical outcome. We as teachers need to update our knowledge on these current interests and needs in order to be effective educators to our students and to accomplish this we can create certain physical activities or programs for our students to complete during their Physical Education Curriculum.
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Sport pedagogy is interested in the ways in which children and young people can be supported to learn sport-specific skills and , importantly, how that learning can be structured and managed to ensure they also gain wider personal, social and health benefits from their participation. The wider benefits to be gained from participation in sport are not insignificant. In the learners and learning dimensions of pedagogy, children and young people are diverse learners and the ways in which they can be supported to learn must be effective in and through sport. Effective teachers and coaches are lifelong learners themselves who continuously and critically reflect upon their personal capacities to meet the needs of young learners As a true 'professional' , teachers and coaches must commit to 'growing' their expertise continuously in the sport-related knowledge available to be taught or coached and in the range of pedagogical tools and models from which to draw in order to harness the power of sport. In this way, teachers and coaches model lifelong learning for children and young people. Teachers need to ensure that there is holistic development within the learners as it involves play and social engagement.
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Physically active play, such as running or climbing involves large body movements, when children are in supportive learning environments, exploration and appreciation of movement through play challenges the body's capacity to respond in creative and skilful ways. Play should not only be during break times in school playgrounds, nor should it be replaced too early in the lives of young children by structured, formal sport, but more of a day-to-day activity that is fun and constructive at the same time. It is particularly important to consider the role of competition when children move from unstructured to more structured play environments. Physical education is a vital part of school life as it may be the only place on the curriculum where children can learn in and through movement. This learning can be significant in developing a child's physical literacy. It provides opportunities for the development of knowledge and understanding of specific activities, the skills needed to participate and the foundations for future successful participation. Physical Education contains aspects of sport that have extreme value to children. There is educational value where sport is an instrument in the hands of education that helps to develop children's characters and personalities, it also has the possibility of transferring certain qualities to children such as honesty, integrity, discipline and respect which is essential to have.
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Sport includes a social aspect where forming friendship bonds and being part of a group is desired by many. It helps influence growth and the development of social relationships between children that benefit individual health and social benefits. Sport, therefore integrates children into society and form bonds with others. Sport has a psychological value which consists of building children's self-confidence that improves an individuals own personal development. Sport can relieve stress and thus has therapeutic value for children who are going through difficult times at home, school or both. Ethical value is another aspect of sport that can build sportsmanship in children and teach them the importance of fairness in play. Lastly we take a look at the political value of sport, this link with Olympic Education where sport can be used to bring different countries together and be a nation builder. This teaches children the importance of political fairness and equality among all who chose to take part in sport. While play, physical education and sport settings provide opportunities for children to learn and develop, this learning does not happen automatically. Children need to be supported, encouraged and guided through a range of developmentally appropriate activities to facilitate this learning. This task is made more complicated by the need to consider and accommodate the complex and varying needs and interests of the children during the activity and this is where teachers and coaches come in play in order to provide this to learners. Physical Education needs to include Olympic Education within its curriculum in order for holistic development to realize. Olympic Education is based on the values, morals and motto's of that of the Olympic Games.
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We will be focusing on excellence, respect and friendship. Excellence means doing the best we can , on the field of play or in our professional life. Here the teachers and coaches need to strive in building up confidence within these young learners, in order for them to strive for their own excellence on the field of play or in their social life. Respect is a given whether in sport or in life. Educators need to teach the importance of having respect not only for yourself but for others as well. Respecting yourself is important as this builds up self-confidence which leads to striving for self-excellence. Respecting others is even more important as it brings people together and builds connections between one another which can essentially lead to friendships. It is however important, when a teacher teaches respect, it is important to start with having respect for the learners. Learners essentially at such a young age, mimic what teachers or coaches do, therefore treating the learners with respect will ensure that they treat yourself and others with respect. Friendships are important as it forms part of the social aspect of learners lives. Creating friendship bonds will ensure that learners learn about themselves as well as others and develop certain skills that they didn't have initially. Friendships are good for promoting good mental health, gives a sense of belonging and it provides you with a good support system which is essential when growing up.
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Teachers are expected to follow differentiated pedagogical practices, unlike the curriculum cantered education approach, today, focus is on learner. We can say that the kind of education needed and taught today requires teachers to constantly advance their professional knowledge and skills. Teachers need to stay updated with the advancements in different fields, skills in demand, future of work and potential careers for students. They are required to be agents of innovation because innovation is critically important for generating new sources of growth through improved productivity and efficiency. Upskilling the teachers is of utmost importance to guide them on what the best practices are to use when it comes to Physical Education as well as Olympic Education. Effective professional development enables educators to develop the knowledge and skills they need to address students' learning challenges, to be effective, professional development requires thoughtful planning followed by careful implementation with feedback to ensure it responds to educators' learning needs. Educators who participate in professional development then must put their new knowledge and skills to work. Professional development is not effective unless it causes teachers to improve their instruction. Whether students are high, low, or average achievers, they will learn more if their teachers regularly engage in high-quality professional development. The effectiveness of professional development depends on how carefully educators conceive , plan, and implement it.
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In effective professional development, teachers or coaches analyses students achievement to identify learning problems common to students in their particular grade. This then determines which problems educators have the most difficulty addressing , and identify what they need to know and do to be more successful in helping students overcome these learning challenges. Evaluation is a systematic process you can use to learn if your activities are achieving their intended purpose. The results of evaluation can be used to: demonstrate successful outcomes to your school gain additional support for your activities identify specific ways to improve implementation of your programs make strategic decisions about what activities to continue or change moving forward The type of mode that we will be using during this professional development event will be: Observation, where teachers observe other teachers Coaching an expert teacher, one or more colleagues Team meetings to plan lessons, problem solving, performance improvement, and learning a new strategy Faculty or grade-level meetings Workshops to dig deeper into a specific subject
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My evaluation plan is to evaluate teachers on their professional development, to see whether these young children will benefit from their knowledge and skills. I will have a number of assessments on the teachers to see whether or not they have grown and upskilled their knowledge. If not, they will have workshops to promote this at the schools in order to provide the best learning outcomes to these Grade-R learners. We will also have the learners participate in the evaluation plan, by asking them what their changing interests are in order for us to meet their needs, we will evaluate their progress with the curriculum as well in order to evaluate the teachers performance to the maximum. When we sample all the data after the assessments, we can analyses the data, see what to improve or what to change, make modifications to the programs of the children and the teachers, put it back into play, evaluate again until we are satisfied with the end product.
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Thank you for your time!