In our two-year MA in Education programme that prepares students to work in the Education sector at large, students can opt for Early Childhood Education (ECE) as their focus for a set of courses.
As prospective educational practitioners, students of the MA Education programme need to have a good grasp of the educational realities on the ground and understand the multiple facets of school and teacher education practice.
They will also need to grasp and appreciate the range of work carried out by various educational practitioners in the complex educational system. Field practice attempts to help students develop a deeper understanding of the implications of the theoretical and conceptual ideas being developed in the programme.
In the MA in Education programme, Field Practice takes two distinct forms:
- Weekly practica that relate to coursework, and
- Sustained field practice ranging from 2 to 12 weeks
The latter is made up of three field practice components referred to as Field Practice‑1 (FP1), Field Practice‑2 (FP2) and Field Practice‑3 (FP3).
As a part of the weekly practicum, the students visit various ECE centres. The ongoing visits enable students to reflect on the implementation of ECE policies in anganwadi centres and preschools, provide exposure and opportunity to understand different types of programmes offered by voluntary organisations in ECE and build a critical understanding of various approaches and models of early childhood education.
The students are located at our District Institutes for Field Practice‑3 (FP3). Through the 12 weeks of FP3, students have a sustained opportunity to closely observe, teach and work with teachers in Anganwadis and private preschools. They design lesson plans consisting of activities and teaching learning aids.
The extensive engagement also provides the space for students to reflect on their teaching preparation and practice every day.
This programme for in-service professionals provides a flexible multiple-mode engagement for field and courses on ECE.
In-service professional development programmes for Senior Education Functionaries
Work with in-service professionals is critical to strengthening the existing system. We offer short-certificate programmes for government officials based on the needs of the State education department.
Certificate programme on Foundations of Early Childhood Education
A 30-day certificate programme in Foundations of Early Years Education was offered by Azim Premji University in collaboration with the Karnataka Education Department.
The certificate programme in ‘Foundations of Early Years Education’ focused on enabling the Master Resource Persons (MRPs)to be equipped with the necessary theoretical and practical background for becoming trained ECE facilitators.
The key content areas that were covered are significance of early years development, how young children learn and play-based pedagogy, developing low-cost material and organising early learning spaces, early identification, intervention and inclusion, emergent and early literacy, assessment in early years, types of assessment, engaging parents and community, and professional development.
Capacity building of District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) faculty members
The Department of State Educational Research and Training (DSERT) recognised a need for capacity building of District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) faculty members to offer high-quality ECE Teacher preparation programmes.
DSERT Karnataka through two DIETs offers a Diploma in preschool education programme. On request of DSERT, the University offered a customized 10-day certificate programme to equip the teacher educators from DIETs in Karnataka with the necessary theoretical and practical background knowledge in understanding the holistic nature of Early Childhood Education and the unique nature of the ECE curriculum and pedagogy.
The key content areas covered in the course are Foundations of the ECCE domain, Child learning and development, developmentally appropriate curriculum, ECE programme key components and curricular approaches, play-based pedagogy, assessment in early years, planning and management of ECE centres, essential components of field engagement for pre-service ECE teacher preparation.