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Psychomotor Education

         
In 1997 the Psychomotor Education Institute of South Africa (PEISA) introduced a Psychomotor Education Programme into many Pre Primary Schools’ curricula.

The program is based on a holistic approach to the development of the child and grounds its philosophy in the “trust of the child’s capabilities to follow its own inner programme”.  This means that  the Psychomotor Educator facilitates (in a non-directive way) and accompanies the child in its stages of emotional development. The main focus is on the understanding of the fundamental role of the emotions in the development of the brain.

In July 2009, the Dalton Education Trust signed up with PEISA and every Thursday morning, four groups of twenty children attend a Psychomotor Education session in the Sakhithemba Resource Centre.

In the lessons, the children play in a non-violent environment with specific equipment. They learn how to use "non-violent communication" for solving conflicts with their peers.

They gradually become independent,
  responsible, self-confident, self disciplined, respectful of the others and of themselves. In this safe, informal environment they are more able to be creative and autonomous in their thinking. This enables them to be better prepared for the formal learning process in Grade 1.

The parents in and around in the community have already reported that their children have become more manageable at home, and are obeying the rules at home. There has also been a noticeable improvement in their listening skills.  It is evident that this positive attitude has an enormous impact on the relationships between the children, their parents and their caregivers.

Apart from the weekly lessons with the children, PEISA has also provided 60 hours of training to a group of Family Facilitators. They are taught to accompany the children in an integrated Psychomotor lesson that consists of activities which enhance life skills.              
                         
The outcomes of the lessons are:

1) emotional development
2) motor development
  3) social development
4) conflict management and mediationa

The Facilitators have learnt how to 'read' and to understand children's behaviour, so that they may respond in an effective way. They have also learnt to work on themselves as individuals as many workshops are intended to strengthen the individual in their own abilities.

The training has helped the Family Facilitators to support children in the context of their families. It has helped to empower both children and Family Facilitators and bring awareness into the community about children's needs and rights.

The programme recognizes that the community is a vital resource in supporting young children. Eventually, the Family Facilitators will become responsible for implementing and sustaining the Psychomotor Education programme.

This achievement has been possible because of the commitment to community development by the people of the Dalton Education Trust.
         
Dalton Psychomotor Equipment Brochure (May 2010) Click here to download.
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