In pre-schools in Finland children are encouraged to trust their skills and to be creative in their own way. No perfection is expected and children are allowed to express themselves without being judged. This allows them to learn and grow without pressure and fear of failure. For example if children are given a subject to draw there are still no strict rules how to do it and the drawing is always accepted as a masterpiece.
Here in Gambia in the pre-schools that we have been working with the way of teaching is a bit different. Children are expected to follow the given instructions exactly as said and proceed at the same pace with the teacher. If you don’t act as expected or if the result doesn’t please the teacher your work gets judged and you might not be allowed to finish your work at all, even if you are an adult. In the worst case you might fail in arts completely.
This way of teaching happens mostly in the classroom. Anyhow there is a moment in every school day when kids don’t get judged at all and are very free to express themselves. When kid’s sing and play with their teachers they are all encouraged to sing as loud as they can and dance their hearts out. Every child is taught to be proud of their roots by encouraging them to sing and dance their tribal songs to others.
– Essi and Henriikka