Held between the 16th, 17th and 18th of August, another initiative – promoted by AIDGLOBAL, in the scope of the project “Educadores em Movimento – uma Educação Itinerante para a Primeira Infância” ((Educators in Motion – An Itinerant Education for Early Childhood) – took place at the Telheiros in the 25 de Junho U2 neighbourhood, with the participation of 20 educators from the five Community Centres. The objectives of this exchange were to share experiences and concerns regarding the development of activities in the Schools, the construction of new resources with a view to exploring the skills to be worked on with the children, using these teaching materials and other activities.
The organization team was in charge of the sessions, namely the Kindergarten Educator Ledieta Bombe, the Project Technicians Ana Pinto and Cátia Sousa, having also counted on the collaboration of Paula Silva, External Consultant, in the pedagogical area and capacity building of the Educators in Motion.
Throughout these three days, the aim was to enrich the knowledge and develop the skills of the participants. There was time to reflect together about the strengths and weaknesses that need to be improved and to define the next steps to be taken to overcome the difficulties encountered in relation to the activities that have been implemented in the Community Centres of the 25 de Junho U2 neighbourhood, of Chaimite, Chiconelane, Maivene and Malehice, with the children, mothers, fathers, carers, families, members of the Community Management Council of the Schools and the rest of the Community.
Educators face multiple challenges on a daily basis and each had the opportunity to share with the group various situations to which they are constantly exposed, in order to obtain appropriate responses and solutions that can be applied to each situation. The difficulties felt when faced with agitated children and with difficulties in communicating with adults, due to shame, shyness or other behavioural alterations, with special or specific needs, among others that were listed, stand out.
During this meeting, the educators contributed to the organization and management of technical files and libraries and also to the development of teaching resources, mainly in cardboard, such as: graphing cards, puzzles, number association games, dominoes, geometric figures (logic blocks) in cardboard and rubber and a coloured wooden abacus. Inspired by these materials, they presented their ideas as a group, activities that could be worked on with the children and new joint strategies to improve the efficiency of their use. Once the resources were finished, they were able to take them back to their own Little Schools.
Stories and nursery rhymes were also told and dramatized, songs and games were shared, and each Community School demonstrated to the other educators on the move what it usually does with its children, which contributed to the enrichment of all the participants.
These activities are pedagogical strategies that function as instruments of integration, articulation and learning, making them more significant and therefore more easily usable in practice, which contributes to the promotion and monitoring of the children’s growth and integral development.
On the last day of the Interchange, the Teachers on the Move prepared and planned the teaching activities for next September, based on the monthly planning provided by AIDGLOBAL under the theme “Professions”. At the end, they expressed their satisfaction for having acquired more skills and feeling more prepared to better perform their role as pre-school educators in their Little Schools.
“Educadores em Movimento – Uma Educação Itinerante para a Primeira Infância” (EeM) (Educators in Motion – An Itinerant Education for Early Childhood) has the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation as main sponsor, Camões – Institute for Cooperation and Language I.P. as co-financier, as promoter AIDGLOBAL, Project Manager; as co-promoter the Chibuto Vocational and Residential Center (CVRC) and as partners the Instituto Politécnico de Leiria (Polytechnic Institute of Leiria) (IPL), its scientific-pedagogical coordinator, the Center for International Studies of the University Institute of Lisbon (CEI-Iscte) – coordinator of the anthropological component by District Service for Youth, Education and Technology of Chibuto (SDJET) and District Service for Health, Women and Social Action (SDSMAS) – entities that guarantee the articulation of the project with public policies.