Agnieszka

 

My name is Agnieszka. I am a nomadic person. I live in Switzerland next to Zurich with my Swiss husband. I was born in the south of Poland, in the industrial region called Upper Silesia. When I was 19, I worked as an au pair during summer in the Netherlands. I found out that I would like to live abroad. A bit later I moved to Italy (Bologna). I used to work there as a seller in an ice-cream parlour. I promised myself that I would study there. I learned Italian well and I became a student of Social Education. I chose it because of my previous experience as a volunteer in social setting. Later I worked again as an au pair in the Netherlands and in Belgium coming back to Italy for exams. Then I had another dream – Erasmus in the Netherlands. I did. I studied in Eindhoven at the University of Applied Sciences Fontys. I loved it. I wanted to study more in the Netherlands. I did. I became a free mover student at the University of Groningen. In the meantime, during an introduction week for exchange students, I met Valentin. I fell in love. We married. I moved to Switzerland. I work as a trainee in a bilingual nursery and as a nanny. My next nomadic step is IP in Borås. I worked a lot with kids in my life and I love them.

 

1. What comes to your mind considering the IP “Finding pedagogical 

resources within urban places- building the education city”?

 

1. Learning takes place in a classroom and outdoor. Outside children can explore nature, make an excursion or play and have fun.

Outdoor activities and field trips give children direct possibility to explore, discover, observe world around them – plants, animals, human environment, weather, city life, etc. Outdoor activities are extension of the classroom and should stimulate physical, social, cognitive and emotional development of preschool children.

2. Children have natural curiosity about what is around them, but they are not abstract thinkers. It means that they need concrete, they have to taste, to hear, to see, otherwise they will not understand (Feldman, J.R., 1991).

3. There are many possibilities to organise an excursion in a city. It can be a playground, a park, a museum, a lake, a factory, a farm, a zoo, or even a supermarket or a store, etc.

4. Dramatic play is central to preschoolers’ development and learning. It is a way how kids recreate their own life experience, but to play together successfully they need common experience for example a group excursion (Dogde D.T., Colker L.J., Heroman K., 2002).

5. Outdoor activities (physical exercise and fresh air) are important for children’s health. For example visiting a local park with a playground gives great opportunity to play, run, climb, slide, swing, etc. Children can develop motor, social skills, self confidence, experiment their limits. Playing outside does not mean only to have fun. While playing preschoolers also observe environment around them like weather changing, animals.

Unluckily there is less and less space for kids (Dunn J., Layard R., 2009). According to Jonhson, Christie and Wardle (2005) there are to many politicians, parents and educators who think that outdoor play and activities take time away from academic activities and it creates inappropriate childhood programs. Also factors like our culture with excessive use of TV and computer, busy parents, limit time spent outdoor by children.

Richard Layard, the British economist writes that  public authorities should give high priority to open spaces where children can play unsupervised (…) We also applaud all efforts to reclaim streets for children, that children need not only playgrounds but also places where they can explore, no sport field or open space where children play should be built on, without a provision of equivalent open space elsewhere (Layard, Dune, 2009).

 

2. What does it mean to you? 

It is about a teacher’s role.

 

1.  Teacher’s role is to be a mediator between what can be found in urban

space and making use of it as a pedagogical resource for preschoolers.

2. A teacher’s role is to look for resources, to be creative and critical, to organise outdoor activities, excursions, to look for local events in order to teach kids about local tradition (festival, local market, etc).

3.  A teacher has to prepare activities well. She or he should explore urban area, discover what it can be found and connect it with a curriculum and organise trip field. Outdoor activities and excursion should give consideration to each curriculum area like science, art, music, etc.

4.    A teacher should:

 

  • properly prepare kids to excursion, introduce a topic, connect it with reading a book and discussion, discover what kids already know about it, tell about expectations and rules, inform parents about a trip
  • provide support for every child, motivate children
  • consider safety of children
  • teach kids to take care of nature, their environment
  • link excursion to dramatic play, children should be motivated to incorporate excursion topic to their play (Dogde D.T., Colker L.J., Heroman K., 2002).
  • follow-up the excursion with telling stories, crafts, etc
  • take advantage of moments like crossing a street, using public transport to tell about road safety, how to behave in a bus, etc. It is learning experience too.
  • encourage children to collect some materials like stones, etc and to bring them to a classroom

 

3. How would you contribute to the IP?

I am very excited about two weeks in Boras!!!! I have been working as a trainee in a bilingual nursery, but I do not have academic background in Early Childhood Education (but in Social Education). Working in a nursery it is relatively new concept for me. Two-weeks training related to Early Childhood Teaching while being a trainee in a playschool is really great option. I am going to use it maximally and to have fun. I am going to prepare myself and to be active, engaged, critical and curious student and observer.  In the past I was twice an exchange student (Erasmus and free mover). I worked a lot, but I gained a lot of useful knowledge, not only through reading books, but rather through excursions, group work with other international students, visiting various institutions. I made a lot of pictures and made notes. I have records. I can still use and share that experience. I can still revisit that places through my dreams and through virtual world. It stays in my memory and I think it is all about it.

 

 

 

 

 

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