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Tag Archives: early childhood education

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Reflecting on Progress in the Core Child Program

With the end of the Fall Core Child Program session almost in sight, it is a good time to reflect back on the last 11 weeks to assess the progress children have made throughout the session. Oftentimes, no place is this more clear than in the halls of the Core AM program. As is oft reported, the first weeks of the program can be jarring for our 4 and 5 year old children- both new and returning to TYO. For many of them, this marks the first time in their young lives that they are spending time away from their Continue reading…

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Developing resiliancy through group work

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that prolonged exposure to abuse or traumatic events in childhood stunts emotional development and puts children at greater risk of developing personality disorders or depression later in life. This is a concerning reality for those working in early childhood education in wartorn regions. According to a UNICEF report regarding the rights of childrenv, the ‘Occupied Palestinian Territory is a place where children may become, deliberately or incidentally, the victims of extreme acts of violence and brutality, such as targeted and/or negligent killings, indiscriminate attacks on their homes, Continue reading…

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Addressing the ‘Why?’

The ‘why’ stage- it’s the often joked about stage of child development where children are so wildly filled will curiosity about the world around them that it seems every other word out of their mouths is ‘why’. Addressing and encouraging children’s natural curiosity is critical to shaping the type of thinkers they will be later in life. They need to be provided with answers, but they also need to feel competent and that they are capable of understanding the complexities of the world around them. If a child is made to feel that they are not fit to learn on their Continue reading…

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Until Next Time

Every day in my Core English course, my students left the classroom yelling, “Goodbye! Goodbye!” They waved furiously, ecstatic at the opportunity to demonstrate their new English skills. I smiled and laughed at their enthusiasm, giving them countless high-fives in return for their hard work. Now, that word takes on a new meaning to me as my internship with TYO comes to an end and I prepare to leave Nablus. Though my time here was relatively short, the mutual impact that my students and I had on each other is palpable. As my first time in Palestine and the Middle Continue reading…

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Lessons Learned in the Core Child Program

Last week marked the second half of the Fall 2014 session, which means children in the Core Child PM program began the second rotation in the afternoon program. TYO’s afternoon curriculum was designed to teach children the major themes of self and communication through a holistic approach over a six week period. Each teacher focuses on a different medium through which to teach the overreaching themes- such as art, drama, sports, and health. The session is divided into two rotations, each emphasizing the same themes, but through a different medium. As a former volunteer-turned Core Child Program Teacher, Mai reflects on her Continue reading…

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M is for Music!

In my Core Child English Class through TYO’s International Internship program, students file through the door and greet me with an enthusiastic “Hello!” It’s five weeks into our program, and at this point many of the students are asking unprompted “How are you?”. The progress that I have seen among these young ones has been significant in just five weeks. TYO Interns teach English because there is a dire need for native speaking instructors in Palestine. Time and time again in conversations that I have had with Palestinians, they have shared their frustrations over language learning in their schools. Despite the Continue reading…

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Constructing identity in the Core Child Program

  ‘Children are like little scientists. They gather evidence by observing and exploring the world.’ But what happens when they, their parents, guardians, and teachers don’t have control over their world? What happens when their ability to explore is limited by outside factors? For most of the children attending TYO’s Core Child Program, ‘exploring’ their world- even their country- is not an option. Given the barriers to movement created by checkpoints throughout the West Bank, Palestinian communities have become highly fragmented, with many families choosing to remain stationary. Given the complex political environment in which TYO’s beneficiaries develop, most arrive at TYO having never Continue reading…

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Teaching collaboration to build a stronger community

Human nature dictates that a child’s first instinct is to satisfy his or her own needs before developing an awareness of the needs of those around them. It isn’t until roughly the age of three that children are developmentally prepared to start thinking about and sharing with others. At this point, in a healthy environment, a child’s perception begins to slowly mature as they observe the concept of collaboration being modeled in front of them by family members. This constant spirit of sharing and support helps to root the idea of collaboration as a value within children, consequently enabling them Continue reading…

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Won’t you be my neighbor?

TYO’s Core Child Program encourages creativity, allowing children to use their imaginations to re-imagine the world. The dynamic psychosocial program, which was recently enhanced in partnership with Columbia University, utilizes an array of methods within the primary spheres of development- cognitive, physical, and emotional- to train children to consider their experiences through multiple lenses. In doing so, TYO hopes to lay the groundwork for a more analytical and empathic generation of leaders. The psychosocial curriculum is designed in what can be imagined as a series of concentric circles, with each week building upon the last. Following last week’s focus on Continue reading…

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All in the Family

The second week of the Core Child Program focuses on the concept of family. It is important to root this idea with children early in their development, as their understanding of family is critical not only to their sense of identity, but also serves as an early lesson in tolerance and diversity. Family is the first formal social structure to which children are exposed, and while it is normal to have different family structure, this does not necessarily mean all children are comfortable with their family unit. By teaching young children that it is ok to be different, they learn to Continue reading…