Shifting Class Dynamics to benefit everyone

By James Markham 10 months ago
Categories Cape Town, Volunteering

One key aspect of a good childcare program is the use of trial and error and willingness to adapt classroom structure to fit the fast-moving and malleable class dynamic. As the children’s capabilities shift throughout the year, so should the programs attentions and method. The same applies as the children’s social demands shift, near the end of this particular academic year it has become evident that certain children at our GVI Cape Town Childcare project are at risk of being ‘left behind’ as the majority of children begin to complete the curriculum at a greater standard and are beginning to demand greater attention and stimulation as their curiosity and abilities expand.

To tackle this issue, the decision was made to split the class into two mini-classes, with the more advanced children receiving more advanced and difficult work that can fulfill they’re appetites and distract them from the type of poor behavior that stemmed from boredom with the work they were being given previously. The children who still required extra help to meet curriculum standards were on the other hand now able to receive this extra help with a greater focus of the rudimentary basics (i.e. writing ABCs, recognizing 1-10).

The drawbacks were discussed beforehand and one issue that came up was that this might create social disharmony, that this would engineer or exacerbate a rift between the more capable children and the ones that were behind when integration between the two groups is essential for the children’s social development among other things. However, it was decided that the children still spent the majority of the day together will plenty of opportunities for social growth and integration during play and circle time.

The positives have been evident from its implication, both sets of children gaining more confidence as they are given work that is more tailored to their abilities. This has had a positive affect on the children’s behavior and happiness which is essential also. Going into final assessments this year, I predict that this change will produce big results.