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Sabah IECC 2023

Sabah International Early Childhood Conference (IECC) 2023

Early childhood education plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of our society. It is during these formative years that children develop the foundations for learning, social interaction, and emotional intelligence. In the heart of Sabah, Malaysia, the Sabah International Early Childhood Conference 2023 brought together educators, researchers, and experts from around the world to explore innovative approaches and share their insights on early childhood development. Here are the key takeaways and highlights from this enlightening event.

Empowering Educators for Early Childhood Success

One of the central themes of the conference was the importance of empowering educators with the knowledge and tools needed to provide high-quality early childhood education. Workshops, presentations and keynote speeches focused on the latest research findings and best practices for nurturing young minds. Participants engaged in discussions on pedagogical approaches, curriculum design, and effective teaching strategies, with an emphasis on creating inclusive and culturally sensitive learning environments.

On the first day of the conference, we had our first keynote in the morning by Su Fen Cheong, our CEO and founder of Preschool Market on the topic: Rethinking & Reigniting ECE: Building Community Connections, followed by the second keynote in the afternoon: Play is everything! Reimagining and reconnecting with play by Judd Walsh.

The Power of Play

Play is a child's natural way of exploring the world, and it was a recurring topic throughout the conference. Presenters highlighted the significance of play in promoting cognitive, social, and emotional development. From imaginative play to outdoor activities, attendees learned how to harness the power of play to enhance learning experiences for young children through the Lets! Build STEAM & loose parts play and Encouraging creative expression of language through drama, poetry, & storytelling


Participants building a butterfly enclosure using loose parts

Inclusivity and Diversity

Inclusivity was a cornerstone of the conference, reflecting the belief that every child deserves access to quality early childhood education. Sessions addressed the importance of creating inclusive classrooms that accommodate children with diverse abilities and backgrounds. The conference emphasized the value of recognizing and celebrating cultural diversity in early childhood education, acknowledging that this helps children develop respect and empathy for others.

The effects of a synthetic phonics approach on preschoolers' English reading ability

by Creena Alison Wong

One of the breakout session workshops was on managing Children with sensory Integration problems by Mahfuzah Zainol where she spoke on children with autism, spectrum disorder, ADHD, dyslexia and how preschool educators can nurture them in the best manner possible. Dr Fu Sai Hoe also talked about understanding children with disabilities in learning Mathematics in the third breakout session: “Dyscalculia, what is it?”. He gave insightful learning tips where children can participate in group work like storytelling, simulation, classroom discussions and class games that could help them in their learning.

Technology in Early Childhood Education

As we live in an increasingly digital world, discussions around technology's role in early childhood education were prevalent. Experts explored the potential benefits and challenges of integrating technology into the classroom. Participants learned how to strike a balance between screen time and hands-on experiences, ensuring that technology enhances rather than replaces traditional learning methods.

Encouraging scientific learning and teaching in ECE by Dr Ng Soo Boo touches on the key benefits of modern technology should also generate classroom dialogue on why some groups of people have difficulties accessing the technology.

Parental Involvement and Support

The Sabah International Early Childhood Conference 2023 recognized the critical role parents play in a child's development. Sessions on family engagement provided insights into effective ways to involve parents in their child's learning journey. The conference highlighted the importance of building strong partnerships between educators and parents to create a supportive ecosystem for young learners.

Participants penning down their thoughts and pasting it on the IECC banner to share their insights with the rest

The Sabah International Early Childhood Conference 2023 was a resounding success, fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing among early childhood educators and professionals. Participants left the event inspired and equipped with fresh perspectives, innovative ideas, and practical strategies to enhance the quality of early childhood education.

As we move forward, the knowledge and insights gained from this conference will continue to shape the future of early childhood education in Sabah and beyond. By nurturing young minds with care, inclusivity, and innovation, we are building a brighter and more promising future for the next generation.

Preschool Market was one of the key partners for The Sabah International Early Childhood Conterence 2023.

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