|Organization||Beijing Guyu Qianqianshu|
Preschool Education Quality Improvement Program in Impoverished Mountainous Area, Northwest Hubei is a program of preschool course R&D and teacher training, implemented by Beijing Guyu Qianqianshu (hereinafter referred to as the “Qianqianshu”). The program aims at improving the teaching quality of Shiyan area through intensive training and mentoring.
Shiyan locates in impoverished mountainous area of Qinba, which is short of education resources and deficient in teachers of preschool education. The local private kindergartens can only provide slender wages. It is not possible to ensure the quality of teachers and, in the meanwhile, the teacher mobility is high. Moreover, the teachers of public kindergarten are usually ex-teachers of primary schools, who does not have suitable teaching experience to teach in kindergartens. In addition, the style and content of the former local pre-school education there is similiar to primary education and it is not suitable to the standard of infant development. To address this cause, Qianqianshu has worked a lot in two core fields of pre-school education: preschool courses and teachers’ cultivation. They developed a set of teaching materials which suits the development of pre-school children and it is easy for the teachers to use. With the support of Hubei Shiyan Bureau of Education in 2013, Qianqianshu leveraged various local resources including the involvement of the government, Bureau of Education, local instructors, researchers and preschool teachers in the program. Through multi-level mentoring and school training, the local teachers not only are able to use the pre-school teaching materials of Qianqianshu skillfully, but also can master the teaching skills which are suitable for early childhood development. The quality of local kindergarten education shall finally be improved with a solid developed program which cultivates the local full-time instructors and researchers.
This grant funds the program operation, including expenses of teachers’ cultivation, training for instructors from the bureau of education, teacher incentive, and program management. The grant has also covered the teaching materials for Shiyan kindergartens with a mission of improving the preschool education of the area with Qianqianshu jointly.
Summary of the program in phase I:
In phase I of the program (August 2013 till July 2014), Qianqianshu has implemented program activities dominated by centralized training of teachers and trainer in kindergarten. Qianqianshu presented the teaching materials to 243 preschool teachers in 33 program kindergartens, and improved teaching skills of the preschool teachers. They have learned about more advanced concept of infant education from the activities. The preschool teachers have obvious change in attitudes to the children. In addition to this, the content of the courses has been changed from former courses in form of primary school dominated by literacy and mathematics to a series of courses compatible with development of infants including picture story book reading, story listening and music enjoying. Qianqianshu has also trained three local instructors in Shiyan region to cultive local new trainers and enable them to instruct other teachers from time to time. This is a primary result in teacher cultivation system localization.
In addition, Qianqianshu has received recognition from local educational administration because of the renovation of education brought to the Shiyan pre-school education. The new project sites increased in the second project cycle are added with initiative application of all prefecture and county bureaus of education. The bureaus of education are willing to afford the local training expenses of the program, and also provide support of human resources.
Key jobs of program in phase II:
In the second project cycle (August 2014 till August 2015), Qianqianshu will reinforce localization development of the program, and cultivate more local backbone teachers in order to able to pass teaching methods and concept on to others through three-level training pattern of Qianqianshu —> program instructors and county seed trainers—> backbone teachers of rural kindergarten —> other teachers. The local teachers will undertake the task of training gradually, in order to be able to continue its funtion after the conclusion of program. In the meanwhile, for the purpose of piloting and consolidating the result of the program, the implementation has expanded from 33 kindergartens to 60 plus kindergartens in 5 districts and counties subordinated to Shiyan municipality.