Workshop 1: I am entering the world of reading and writing with all my senses –
Workshop leaders: Barbara Baloh, Petra Furlan, Giuliana Jelovčan in Bojana Kralj
The workshop participants will connect the objectives of the subject fields and curricular fields of learning languages, movement, music and nature, all through the activities of preliminary teaching of literacy (pre-literacy and literacy activities). The participants will learn about the didactic approaches to promoting preliminary literacy: visual perception, graphomotoric skills, audio perception in connection with music, and listening for distinguishing and listening for analysis. The theoretical starting points of preliminary literacy and multi-sensory learning, which is gaining recognition in Slovenia, will be presented and further supported by concrete examples of connecting the activities from different fields (language, movement, music and natural sciences) in order to encourage all aspects of child development.
Barbara Baloh is employed at the University of Primorska’s Faculty of Education as an Assistant Professor of the Didactics of the Slovene language. Her interests include the linguistic and sociolinguistic aspects of the development of children’s language, in particular children’s storytelling in the pre-school and early school period, in both a monolingual and multilingual environment; teaching and learning Slovene as a mother tongue, second language and foreign language; and teaching pre-literacy and literacy in a monolingual and multilingual environment.
Petra Furlan is employed at the University of Primorska‘s Faculty of Education as an Assistant in the Didactics of Natural Sciences. The field of her research covers the didactics of natural sciences and preschool education, particularly the integration of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) into learning in a natural learning environment, and other modern teaching approaches.
Giuliana Jelovčan is employed at the University of Primorska‘s Faculty of Education as a Senior Lecturer in the Didactics of Sports Education. She is a Professor of Pre-School Education. Her research covers children’s motor development, physical/sport activities in the pre-school period, and the didactics of sports education in the 1st triennium.
Bojana Kralj is employed at the University of Primorska, Faculty of Education as a Lecturer in Music Education. Her research is focused on the field of music pedagogy and musicology.
Workshop 2: Playness pedagogy – gamification of learning
Workshop leader: Milan Hosta
Playness pedagogy merges movement, play, knowledge, and values into holistic unity, which is communicated to the children age 2-9 in the form of storytelling.
The workshop will highlight the view of school, family, learning and experience as a game and playfulness as a mindset and learning approach. Through the consideration of the structure of the game, the meaning and its goal, the participants will learn about the methods of gamification of learning contents and the possibilities of gamification of the educational goals in the classroom.
Dr. Milan Hosta is an internationally recognized expert in philosophy and pedagogy of sport, specializing in the domain of health and social inclusion through sport and physical education. Member of UNICEF international working group on Safeguarding for Children in Sport, and EU Think tank Sport & Citizenship. He is a member of the expert working group for preparation of teaching materials for children and youth on sportsmanship at the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport of Republic of Slovenia. Dr. Milan Hosta has consulted via EU and private funded initiatives over 1000 kindergartens, schools, and sports clubs in Germany, Austria, Italy, Belgium, Slovenia, France, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia.
Workshop 3: Fit pedagogy™… for the future of our children.
Workshop leader: Barbara Konda
It is a new teaching strategy the foundation of which is hidden in the word ‘Fit’, meaning being in good psychophysical condition. It includes teaching methods that enable us to achieve psychophysical balance in the learner during the learning process and therefore enable better learning. Fit pedagogy focuses on learning in motion, movement through play and functional knowledge. Its activities in motion include all aspects of an individual’s development, motor as well as cognitive, personal, social, emotional and physical. Children’s development and learning is holistic and requires a harmonic approach to all previously mentioned areas. It is also the most important approach in the philosophy of Fit pedagogy™, since lack of encouragement in one single area reflects in all of the other areas of a child’s development.
As it has already been mentioned, the strategy of learning in motion is integrated with play, which is the most effective learning method, as it invites the learners to research their own movement abilities. As children and adolescents learn to move through play, they can learn through movement. Meanwhile, they grow as people, search for solutions, learn to think and challenge their own creativity. The main goal of Fit pedagogy™ is a healthy, overall development and achieving better learning outcomes of children and adolescents.
Fit pedagogy™ is based on learning in motion and other learning strategies (active, associative, comparative, experiential, holistic, collaborative and critical learning), physiology, neuroscience, educational neuroscience, and takes its specific characteristics from the developmental traits of a child or an adolescent and builds on them. It does not point out failure, but emphasizes the importance of small triumphs. The achievements of children and adolescents begin in their willingness to make an attempt. They test themselves, they learn through correcting their mistakes, they investigate their own abilities and limitations, all of which leads them to mastering various tasks. An addition to this, Fit pedagogy™ is a dynamic, innovative, fun, varied, motivational, healthy and positive teaching strategy.
The positive effects of Fit pedagogy™ have several layers. In learning in motion a child and an adolescent experience pleasure, which stimulates their natural desire to move and collaborate with peers and adults. At the same time, they are highly motivated, focused and concentrated. Fit pedagogy™ maintains the child’s exploratory spirit, gives him a chance to create, encourages him to come up with his own solutions and teaches him to think while following his overall natural development, takes in account his critical periods of development, and retain his readiness and enthusiasm to participate.
The teacher’s role in the process of a child’s development and learning is extremely complex, demanding and carries great responsibility. In Fit pedagogy™, teachers act as mentors who collaborate with children and adolescents; meaning that teachers collaborate with their learners. In other words, during the learning process the teachers act as directors and the students are the main actors. Through such a process, both receive and mature. All teacher’s interventions are aimed towards shaping positive learning attitudes and must support the shaping of a positive self-image and a friendly relationship amongst classmates (children learn to find and offer support). It is the path, which will lead us to efficiency and progress and enable our children to grow into self-confident, satisfied, mature and healthy people with a high level of functional knowledge.
Barbara Konda, Bsc. Exe. Physiology, is the author of FIT pedagogy (Fitting Teaching for Fit Kids), the FIT International project and numerous other projects, programmes and contents encouraging movement and physical activity of children and youth; and new innovative pedagogical approaches to both teaching as well as learning strategies. In accordance with the guidelines of the World Health Organisation and in line with scientific findings she has developed the Fit International project which has, through the last twenty years, become an acknowledged model of good practice in Slovenia as well as internationally. It includes trainings for teachers, parents, healthcare workers and other professionals. Barbara Konda is an internationally recognised lecturer on the role of physical activity in the prevention and treatment of chronical noncommunicable disease; and pedagogy based on teaching through movement (the USA, Chile, Brazil, Australia, Germany, Spain, etc.) She is also a lecturer of postgraduate studies at the Department of Family Medicine of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ljubljana. She has participated in the government workgroup preparing the ‘Strategy of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia Health Enhancing Physical Activity (HEPA) led by the Republic of Slovenia Ministry of Health as well as in the government workgroup preparing the action plan to implement the strategy. As an invited speaker she has participated at various international congresses and conferences such as the GAP Conference, the Parliament of Victoria, Australia (in connection with the reform of the Australian healthcare system), XVI. Scientific Meeting “Exercise, Nutrition and Health” Chile, IHRSA, Be Active, ICSSPE, FIEP European Congress and others.
Workshop 4: Italian on the move!
Workshop leader: Irina M. Cavaion
The “Italian on the move!” workshop is a proposal for educational physical activities to be spent in the Foreign/Second Language classroom and it is aimed at teachers who are curious to try a funny approach to language learning as well as a successful learning of new words and new communicative structures in the Foreign Language. Teaching and learning a language through physical activities, mimicry and gesture is one of the branches of language teaching that has been most successful in schools, especially in the early stages of language learning. This workshop will offer ideas, games and exercises valid for various levels, not just initial ones, and will provide a few but proven theoretical bases that will support the choice of teachers to include these activities in their annual subject plan.
Irina M. Cavaion is a researcher in language teaching methodologies and an English primary teacher. Her field of research includes the investigation of effective and feasible methods addressing the teaching and learning of neighbouring languages. She is the author of the CoBLaLT method, Contact Based Neighbouring Language Teaching and Learning. She is also specifically engaged in Italian teaching matters in the primary schools of the Slovenian Littoral area. She is Italian mother tongue.
Workshop 5: “Upright posture, good posture”
Workshop leaders: Saša Staparski Dobravec, Jahnavi Vaishnav, Majda Šmid in Alenka Slapšak
The workshop is designed for participants who work with school and preschool children in their daily practice. Participants will gain personal experience of the nine exercises through explanation, demonstration, and respectful professional touch. In the workshop we will raise awareness of three aspects of the exercises: the biomechanical, the psychosocial and of the quality and attitude to the physical touch in the school. Participants will get practical guidelines about the implementation of exercises in the classroom.