Holistic approach to early childhood education to prevent post-pandemic learning loss – Inforial


Inforial (The Jakarta Post)

Jakarta ●
Mon 24 October 2022

Education, childhood

“I think the needs [for education] gradually grew over the years. In the beginning it was just trying to fill in this education that’s not rooted in memorization, where it was based on critical and creative thinking, and you had challenges of teachers and bureaucracy that sat in the old system. Today, the stakes are different, we are looking at a global market where we want to provide our young people with something else,” said James Riady, founder of Yayasan Pendidikan Pelita Harapan (YPPH).

Today, more and more schools are taking a more holistic approach to education, which is essentially a method that focuses on preparing students to meet whatever challenges they may face in life and in their academic career, beyond basic academics. While there are several methods for incorporating a holistic approach, they are all rooted in the same goal of cultivating the physical, emotional, moral, psychological, and spiritual attributes of a developing child, personalized to the skills and feelings of each child. ‘an individual. According to the American University School of Education, holistic education leads to better academic achievement, improves mental and emotional well-being, increases problem-solving ability, and reduces the impact of inequality.

The trend has also reached Indonesia, where renowned schools such as Sekolah Pelita Harapan (SPH) also integrate the same system. Stephanie Riady, Executive Director of YPPH, explained that all schools in the organization believe in holistic transformational education, prioritizing the spiritual, physical, emotional and social perspectives of children, apart from their cognitive or intellectual growth.

“SPH Pluit is one of our most dynamic schools, we have a very strong interest, a very strong history and a very strong growth in this area, and a lot of demand, and we have to do things to meet the expectations of the parents. So that’s what this space is. It’s us adjusting to a community that wants a great English, international and Christian education,” said Matthew Mann, Executive Director of SPH.

The school held the groundbreaking ceremony for a new facility for kindergarten students at SPH in Pluit Village on October 21. The event brought together parents, representatives of SPH Pluit Village and YPPH. The play-based learning approach in early childhood education is one that combines the child’s need to play and learn. The new playground should serve students and teachers for a more hands-on approach to all their learning activities in the future.

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“It’s more than just having a play area, but it’s actually putting in place activities designed to help them learn particular things in areas that we’re focusing on right now, bringing play together and learning, to make it a thing,” explained Tim Heading, headteacher at SPH Pluit Village. He further added that the new playground is for students from K1 to K3, who are usually three to four years old.

Dewi Hayati Suhendro, the mother of a four-year-old student, revealed that she chose SPH because of its playful and religious attributes. Sitting with her daughter in one of the brand new classrooms, she beamed as she shared how her daughter could tell stories in sequence, follow rules and invent her own prayers before each meal. She also added that the child was very excited about the new play area and larger classrooms.

While the holistic approach has worked for many people around the world, the education sector has been disproportionately affected by the pandemic which has forced students to convert to online schools. The world is now facing learning loss in children, as described by Matt. The challenge for educators is to be very creative and energetic in trying to recover what has been lost and bring children up to speed, especially those who were learning to read at the time of confinement. According to Tim, the installation helps students get excited about coming to school, as he has observed children dragging their mothers to school because they just wanted to be in the “beautiful, colorful space. and ready to learn.

“For kindergarten, it’s more about social and emotional behavior, which is pretty far behind. So this installation makes it much easier for us to work because now they have to share their space. They must learn to listen to their friends, to ask permission. By playing together we try to get them to be a bit more social,” added Christel van Zyl on how she planned to reduce learning loss over the past two years for her students. She is a kindergarten coordinator and teacher at SPH Pluit Village.

She added that the best part of the new facility was seeing the kids being so happy and having their own playground and space because they didn’t have one. She revealed that they had conversations before the opening and that on the first day of their arrival, the children were equally surprised at how pleasant it was.


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