Developing an Innovative Early Childhood Curriculum at an Early Childhood Centre (Phase 1)

Project Number
SUG 19/14 HBH

Project Duration
January 2015 - December 2015

Status
Completed

Abstract
This project supports the Malay Youth Literary Association (4PM), a voluntary welfare organisation, to design and develop an innovative curriculum for a new childcare centre. The curriculum is innovative in the sense that it is a holistic curriculum at the same time that it emphasises learning in, through and about physically active play (PAP). Learning in physically active play involves learning to be physically active and to enjoy physical activity for its own sake. Learning through PAP includes (but is not limited to) using PAP as a means of learning in other areas such as literacy, numeracy, science, music and art as well as in the learning of values and dispositions. Learning about PAP involves children talking about and representing their integrated experiences with PAP and other learning areas to enable reflective skills and dispositions, and convert tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge. Designing and developing curriculum is framed as a complex process of change that involves conceptualising curriculum as well as enacting, monitoring, evaluating and refining it. The complexity emerges from consideration of multiple factors as well as diverse interests and voices that are involved in this process. The factors includes (1) the aspirations and goals of the organisation, the centre community and the wider society, (2) beliefs about children, teachers, early childhood education, teaching and learning, (3) theories related to learning and development, curriculum, assessment and pedagogy, and (4) practical constraints such as centre operations and regulatory requirements. The interests and voices include those of the children, their families, the teachers and the organisation. There are two key features of the project methodology: • complexity thinking as its underpinning discourse, i.e. its ways of thinking and acting, in research (Hussain, 2011) which focuses on (1) fostering mutually-beneficial connections or relationships between people, ideas and activities, and (2) generating possibilities in teaching, learning and activities in ways that are ethical, logical and meaningful to those involved; • appreciative inquiry as an approach to fostering positive change that involves “the cooperative, coevolutionary search for the best in people, their organisations, and the world around them.” (Cooperrider & Whitney, 2005, p. 8)

Funding Source
MOE

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