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Early childhood development under the spotlight
March 10, 2011

The first conference on early childhood development, under the theme "Our vision is our children's future", was recently presented at North-West University's Potchefstroom Campus. The Faculty of Education Sciences hosted the conference.

From the left are Profs. Ajike Osanyin from Nigeria, Robert Balfour (Dean of the Faculty of Education Sciences), Dr. Ona Janse van Rensburg (organiser), Profs. Marike de Witt from Unisa, Kobus Mentz of NWU Puk, Marie-Louise van der Lee from Canada and the Rector of the NWU Puk Campus, Prof. Herman van Schalkwyk.

Early Childhood Development is currently a national priority of the National Department of Education and the aim of the conference was to afford those persons with the common purpose of Early Childhood Development (ECD) the opportunity to make contact with one another, deliver papers and establish the South African Association for Research Development and Training in Early Childhood Education.  

The five subthemes elucidated the main theme and was firstly, pre-service/in-service teachers training in diverse context; secondly, research-informed pedagogy, resource and teaching aid development; thirdly, improving teaching and learning, and learner outcomes; fourthly, trends and challenges in the early years; and finally, enhancing well-being and sustainable empowering learning environments.

Each day of the conference started with a principal speaker, namely Prof. Mary-Louise van der Lee from Canada with the title: An International perspective on ECD, Prof. Marike de Witt from Unisa with the title: A South African perspective on ECD and Prof. Ajike Osanyin from Nigeria with the title: An African perspective on ECD.   Approximately 50 presenters appeared and 120 people attended the parallel sessions, workshops, poster presentations and round table discussions daily. Very positive feedback was received from the conference attendees.   The organisers, Brianda Venter, Lesia Rabie and Ona Janse van Rensburg, are planning to organise and present similar conferences every second year.

Published by Kiewiet Scheppel on 10 March 2011.


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