PROMOTING SHARED UNDERSTANDING OF QUALITY EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN
Ministry of Education, LPA, Raion Education Directorates
21 kindergartens, 15 primary schools, 6 pedagogical universities and colleges
The project Promoting Shared Understanding of Quality Education for Children is implemented by Step by Step Moldova (SBSM). Since its beginning in 1994, with technical and financial support from Open Society Institute (NY), Soros Foundation Moldova, Moldova Social Investment Fund (WB), Mott Foundation, OSF (London), UNICEF, ISSA, and in partnership with the MECC and local educational authorities, SBSM has implemented a series of projects aimed at the democratization of the country education system through the implementation of a child/student-centered classroom model in kindergartens and primary schools. Visit SBSM website www.pascupas.md to find more about their organisation and projects.
The project Promoting Shared Understanding of Quality Education for Children builds on and deepens the impact of the previous two phases of the project A Good Start in Life for Rural Children in Moldova. In the first phase of the named project, SBSM provided technical assistance (training and mentoring) to 65 newly created rural kindergartens and Community Centres (CC) and 33 in magnet raion-level kindergartens with established resource centres, guiding their staff towards the new professional requirements based on a child-centred approach. In the second phase, besides continuing to support the kindergartens and CCs whose staff displayed personal commitment to professional growth, SBSM focused on ways of ensuring the successful transition of children to primary school based on the continuity of child-centred practices, respectively providing trainings and mentoring to primary teachers. Further, the project supported the upgrading of pre-service teacher training practices and tuned them to the new requirements in teacher profession.
The overall objective of the current project is to promote learner-centred, active and meaningful life-long learning and to improve the pre-service teacher training.
The project contributes to the formation of a shared understanding of the child-centred education principles translated into practice at different levels of the education system. The project also supports the on-the job professional development and the pre-service teacher training.
The national team of expert practitioners/trainers/mentors has improved its capacities to implement quality child-centred education and promotes its understanding based on the comprehensive set of instruments from ISSA Quality Resource Pack.
The teachers from partner institutions (kindergartens and schools mostly associated with teacher training universities and colleges) have improved their understanding and implementation of child-centred education.
The continuum of educational practices between pre-school and school enables a smoother and more successful children’s transition. The pedagogical universities and colleges prepare student teachers better to the new professional demands by facilitating more observation and reflection opportunities in practicum kindergarten/primary schools. This gradually affects positively the faculty staff’s way of teaching.
On policy-level, the MECC and relevant decision-makers have a more coherent approach in their reform actions when promoting the child-centred philosophy/educational paradigm.
There are cases of good practices illustrating value-based changes in the teaching-learning practices (child/learner-centred principles in practice). New resources, including translation and adaptation of ISSA on-line course materials for preschool and primary school teachers are available (eventually creating synergies with ME initiatives).
Phase I and II Accomplishments:
65 rural kindergartens and Community Centres (CC) as well as 33 in magnet raion-level kindergartens received training and mentoring on applying a child-centred approach
Continuous development of the partener teachers' capacity to promote and to apply the principles of child-centred education.
Development of a comprehensive package of materials for promoting quality in Early Child Education (including early primary school).
Supporting the modernization of the pre-service teacher training in 7 pedagogical universities and colleges in line with the child-centred methodology (capitalizing on the new ISSA Quality Pack materials and linking with new national policy documents – sets of Teacher Standards and Early Learning and Development Standards).
Closer cooperation between preschool and primary school teachers along the line of child-centred approach established.