Preschool teachers have a crucial role to play and must be prepared for it with the relevant knowledge and professional skills as educating young learners is not as easy as it seems.
WOU Chief Executive and Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Lily Chan explained that a positive learning experience encourages growth and learning, which subsequently helps in increasing employee productivity and performance in their professional life.
She said this at the WOU Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony with Persatuan Guru-Guru Tadika Pulau Pinang (PGTPP) held recently. The agreement allows students and affiliates to enhance their learning experience and become certified educators through the Diploma in Early Childhood Education (DECE) programme.
Additionally, it enables educators from PGTPP who are interested in pursuing a diploma to enrol in the DECE programme at WOU. The two parties are able to consider collaborating on potential events like talks, seminars, webinars, forums or presentations, as well as other projects that will be beneficial to both institutions.
The programme is offered by the School of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences (SEHS) that strives to impart pedagogical skills while inspiring students to engage in complex classroom learning. “Besides attaining the necessary education and accomplishments, our aim is that students will graduate with required core competencies and mindset,” said Prof Chan.
She shared that the school will have to consistently create and facilitate simulated-based activities to accomplish the goals of learning experiences, adding that even though virtual and augmented reality are still in its infancy, this approach will gain popularity rapidly as the technology becomes more accessible and affordable.
SEHS Dean, Assoc Dr Thomas Chow Voon Foo emphasised the value of a child’s early education, stating that these are a child’s formative years of growth and are crucial for providing them a solid foundation for lifelong learning and abilities, including cognitive and social development.
“It goes beyond that, since teachers give students under their care the building blocks they need to tackle difficult issues in the real world in the future,” he added.
Dr Chow emphasised that WOU offers the support to guarantee that students complete their studies effectively, saying that “we are continuously attempting to meet the demands of our students, so consider us as your one-stop centre for all your educational needs.”
The MoU was signed by Dr Chow and Ms Sally Ng Chit Peng, President of PGTPP at WOU’s City Campus. The witnesses were Prof Dr Anna Christina Abdullah, WOU’s Director of Centre for Graduate Studies, and Ms Beh Sock Eng, Deputy President of PGTPP.
At the same function, Prof Chan also launched the Kindergarten and Nursery simulation rooms to provide WOU’s DECE students proper facilities to execute simulated activities for young learners.
In addition to that, guests were also treated to a workshop titled “Brain Gym” for 35 kindergarten educators, led by Madam Goh Siew Siew, a Brain Gym instructor and consultant.
Brain Gym is a programme of physical motions that encourages an integrated and coordinated approach to learning. It incorporates the use of both cognitive and bodily sensory abilities to enhance brain function.