Catholic preschool educators take part in an art therapy practical exercise during their Thanksgiving Day.
An art therapy workshop plus a talk by a special education consultant were the highlights of the Catholic preschool educators’ year end Thanksgiving Day.
Sixty two principals and teachers attended the event held at the St Joseph’s Kindergarten in Upper Bukit Timah on Nov 24.
It started with a briefing and updating of Catholic preschool activities by Ms Merilyn Dasson, project director of Early Childhood Education at the Archdiocesan Commission for Catholic Schools (ACCS).
This was followed by a tour of the kindergarten, where the educators were shown the facilities, classrooms and methods used at the various levels. St Joseph’s Kindergarten has both kindergarten and childcare facilities.
Ms Caroline Essame, a creative art specialist with 24 years of working experience in Europe and Asia, conducted the art therapy session. The course aimed to provide participants with an opportunity to explore art therapy and learn basic skills that can be used with children, including those with special needs.
During the session, the educators were given hands-on experience of how art therapy could be used for their students.
Later, Dr Margaret Anne Carter, a special education consultant from James Cook University, spoke on What is the Legacy You Want to Leave your Students?
She highlighted the impact a teacher could make in the life of a child and then went on to discuss various behavioural patterns.
She also spoke on whether adults in the 21st century were doing more “for” rather than “with” children, and whether adults were actually empowering or disempowering these young people.
The day ended with a thanksgiving Mass celebrated by Vicar General Msgr Eugene Vaz, which marked the end of the academic year for the Catholic preschool educators.
“We hope that the programme proves useful for the preschool educators as we try to equip them with ideas to deal with their students and particularly the special needs children in their classroom,” said Ms Dasson.
By Don Gurugay