A lively and modern perspective on childhood education methods and levels of skill, by Panos Petropoulos.

Here are some of the most current and innovative ideas and methods of childhood education. For instance, Buddy Reading was adopted formally by the education system of western Kenya. In their project, sixth-grade students are paired with 1st and 2nd-grade students to be mentors and read with the students one-on-one after school 2-4 times a week.

As part of the same education project, text memorization has become a popular way to help the French-speaking students who are in the first and second grades become more familiar with the shape of words and memorization. The project has actually been using mobile phones, which allow parents to speak with teachers even in the remotest areas.

In addition, many educational systems are beginning to introduce lesson plans and other educational materials for Kindergarten to 12th grade, which have a theme of anti-bias. Known as the anti-bias lesson plans, some of the themes of the education include multi-cultural people and learning as well as social justice themes. These are used as a tie-in to further education against unwanted behaviours such as name-calling, bullying, and even hate crimes in schools.

In the area of new technology, some trends to watch out for include integrating cell phones back into the classroom for use during school. Specifically, at the secondary classroom level apps on phones and calculations are being used in conjunction with lessons. Phone cameras are being used for media projects, some types of social media for research and polling, and supplemental apps which can offer games to refresh lessons just taught and make sure that the information sticks.

Summer learning outside of the classroom is being used more in recent years when there are day camps and courses which kids can do to keep busy while still learning. For instance, nature preserves and centres offer activities and volunteer opportunities; YMCA/YWCA offer exercise facilities, and in many communities, which are small or large, youth drop in centres are available for kids to hang out, do homework, surf the Internet, and interact with each other.

Should you like to learn more about childhood education, make sure to pop in regularly on Panos Petropoulos’ blog.