Lessons learnt from interventions in early childhood education (ECE) have underscored the need to strengthen the enabling environment. The Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) experiences have highlighted key issues, including deficits in ECD providers’ skills and levels of training. Most community and home-based providers in particular, do not meet the entry requirements for an Associate Degree programme. The skills deficit results in inappropriate pedagogical practices in early childhood settings, and stymies the holistic development of young children.
In response, CDB has been supporting professional development training and capacity-building among ECD practitioners. One example is our collaboration with the University of the West Indies, School of Education (UWI-SoE), Cave Hill Campus, to review and modify certification courses for early childhood personnel. The major output is the development of a curriculum entitled, “Introduction to Gender Socialisation in Early Childhood Education”. It includes tested material appropriate for both sexes, and presents practical ways to create environments that are free of gender bias. The pedagogy is anchored in the power of positive expectations for the pre-schooler, and in the benefits of creating gender-sensitive classroom environments.
As part of the development of the curriculum, UWI-SoE and CDB have hosted a regional training-of-trainers workshop and on-training initiatives at the national level for teachers, educators and ECD officers in the Eastern Caribbean Joint Board of Teacher Education (ECJBTE) system. The curriculum was also piloted in a number of ECE settings—including public and private daycare centres, preschools and primary grades—with a focus on early childhood education facilities supported by the Basic Needs Trust Fund, CDB’s flagship poverty reduction programme. These facilities were also monitored and evaluated to inform the final curriculum.
- Module One – Gender and Development
- Module Two – Agents of Gender Socialisation
- Module Three – The School as a Gendered Location
- Module Four – Gender Sensitive and Inclusive Classrooms: Teaching and Learning
- Monitoring and Evaluation of Gender Socialisation Curriculum and Training in Early Childhood Settings