Young children learn most effectively when they are active, have choices and the outcome of their work is valued. Unfinished projects are just as important as finished ones - the process, not just the end result, brings learning. Collaboration rather than competition and comparison with others breeds confidence and a willingness to take risks. To support the implementation of these pedagogical approaches, we challenged educators working with young children from underprivileged communities to create an educational or creative project with the children in their groups lasting at least 3 days. The conditions of the challenge were chosen to encourage the development of values in children such as perseverance, patience, purposefulness, and teamwork. Also, the continuous work on the assignment, which goes beyond one day in the kindergarten and requires that the materials remain intact in the process, builds in the children a sense of belonging to a community of knowledge and discovery, and makes the atmosphere in the classroom more homely.
We have received hundreds of photos of the work of teachers and children from kindergartens with which TSA is developing the model of professional learning communities, in Veliko Tarnovo, Gorna Oryahovitsa, Sredets, Burgas and Teteven. We are happy to share a small part of them and the creative atmosphere in the classrooms.
All teachers who send in photos of their process will receive a specially designed children's bookcase and a set of suitable high quality children's books promoting inclusion and diversity from TSAs.
The challenge is part of TSA's work to disseminate the International Step by Step Association's Quality Pedagogical Practice Principles in Bulgaria, which place the teacher at the center of quality early learning and care.