[Malaysia] Insights into Early Childhood Education in Malaysia: Nurturing Resilience and Socioemotional Skills in Preschool Children - Projects



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[Malaysia] Insights into Early Childhood Education in Malaysia: Nurturing Resilience and Socioemotional Skills in Preschool Children

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This report delves into the landscape of early childhood education (ECE) in Malaysia, specifically focusing on the development of resilience and socio-emotional skills (SES) among 4 to 6-year-old children. Through a combination of focus group and individual interviews, insights into educators' perceptions, practices, and challenges in nurturing resilience and SES were obtained. Educators recognize SES and resilience as foundational competencies crucial for children's social interactions, emotional regulation, and adaptive coping strategies, drawing upon various sources to deepen their understanding and implement effective pedagogical approaches. Challenges such as the lack of formal assessment tools tailored to resilience were identified, prompting educators to rely on observation, judgment, and individualized communication strategies when providing feedback to parents. Cultural and linguistic perspectives were also highlighted as significant factors shaping the understanding and implementation of SES and resilience in Malaysian ECE settings. Practices employed at ECEC facilities to nurture resilience include building social support networks, teaching emotional regulation skills, and promoting independence and self-confidence among children, ultimately contributing to their holistic development and future success. These findings underscore the critical role of early childhood educators in fostering SES and resilience, calling for efforts to develop standardized assessment tools and promote culturally inclusive pedagogical practices to enhance the quality of ECE in Malaysia and beyond.

Keywords: Early Childhood Education in Malaysia, Resilience, Socioemotional Skills, cultural interpretation of the terms resilience and socioemotional skills, approaches to nurture resilience in children, adversities and difficulties faced by preschool children in Malaysia

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Mazlina_Mustafa.png Mazlina Che Mustafa
Associate Professor Dr. Mazlina Che Mustafa has been a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Early Childhood Education (ECE), Faculty of Human Development, Sultan Idris Education University (SIEU) Malaysia since 2008. She holds a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand (2015), a Master's Degree in Early Childhood from Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia (2004), and a B. Ed (Hons) TESL from Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom (1998). Since 2020, Dr. Mazlina has served as the Director at the National Child Development Research Centre (NCDRC). Her research interests include children’s well-being, quality early childhood care and education (ECCE), child development, ECCE pedagogy and curriculum, leadership in ECCE, and inclusive ECCE.

room19.jpg Aminah Ayob
Professor Eme. Dato' Dr. Aminah Ayob is Professor Emerita of Education at Sultan Idris Education University (SIEU) Malaysia where she headed the university as Deputy Vice Chancellor in 2006 and as Vice Chancellor in 2008. She obtained her Ph.D. in Science Education and Cognitive Development from the University of Keele, UK and a M.Sc. Ed. from the University of Iowa, USA. Throughout her academic career, she has conducted various research projects on science education, learning and cognitive development of children, and has been on education policy committees both at national and international levels. She is the founder of the National Child Development Research Centre (NCDRC) located at her university, which houses the National Children Database Centre (NCDC) for children aged 0-4 years old in Malaysia. Her most recent research project focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education for preschool children.