A child-centred curriculum – character building through learning the rights and responsibilities of making choices
The new Indonesian early childhood K-2013 Curriculum is based on a child-centred approach. Instead of the classical face-the-teacher classroom layout, the new national curriculum mandates a centre (or corner or area) classroom layout, with several educational game activities provided in each centre. The heart of the child-centred approach lies in the child’s right to choose from among various options, what activity he/she would like to do, with the stipulation that the child must complete the activity chosen before moving on to pick another activity.
Through the daily exercise of making choices and seeing through those choices (that is, completing the activity chosen before moving on to a new activity), the child absorbs the lessons emanating from the rights and responsibilities of making choices. Because it is the child, and not the teacher, who chooses the activity/activities that he/she wants to take part in, the child learns self-discipline, to focus, to explore, to investigate, to problem-solve, to overcome difficulties, to persist to the end in carrying out an activity/task. The child experiences the consequences of making poor choices, and gradually learns to make choices that can bring about the results he/she desires. As a result, the child is joyful, creative, responsive, fulfilled, positive. With moral guidance, this sound foundation will help the child develop into a well-balanced adult capable of contributing towards building a better world for all.
However, this new child-centred curriculum represents a significant departure from the classical teacher-centred curriculum which is a natural offshoot of the traditional hierarchical culture of the country. Although the K-2013 curriculum was officially launched in late 2015, the Indonesian Education Ministry has not yet been able to mandate that all ECE schools in the country switch to the new curriculum because of the lack of manpower and resources required to make the change. AMURT Indonesia is pleased to support the government in the switch to the new child-centred curriculum through our project entitled “Developing an Early Childhood Teacher Training System that is Effective and Duplicable”.
Located in Demak District and Semarang City in Central Java, this project runs from 2014-2018 and is built upon our earlier pilot project in Pariaman, West Sumatra following the 2009 earthquake. Direct beneficiaries of the current project are 46 mentored schools, 200+ teachers and 2,600+ children in 48 communities. Our distinctive teacher training system is designed with the untrained practising teacher in mind and consists of several mutually-reinforcing sub-components.
Teacher Training – 33 topics, multiple sessions over 3 years
Training of Trainers program – developed 30 teacher-leaders capable of helping to upgrade the teaching skills of their colleagues through leading study circles, developing educational media and organising events
Model School program – developing centres of excellence from amongst mentored schools to showcase best practice teaching methods and facilities that visiting teachers can learn from
Educational Media – developing teaching tools that provide a concrete approach to guiding early childhood teachers
Parenting program – educating and inspiring parents to understand and fulfil the developmental needs of their young children
Reading program – cultivating a love for reading in children from early childhood by facilitating parents in the habit of reading to their young children (2,601 children, 5,202 books, 440 titles)
Community program – community support for village early childhood schools
In late 2015, AMURT Indonesia revived our Early Childhood Teacher Training program in Pariaman, West Sumatra.
Direct Beneficiaries – 40 schools, 133 teachers, 1,200+ children
Training of Trainers program – developed 24 teacher-leaders capable of helping to upgrade the teaching skills of their colleagues through leading study circles and organising events
Reading Program – 1,178 children, 2,356 books, 70 titles
Sample Milestones poster – Click to enlarge