School of Psychology Educational Field Trip to Headstart Academy Damansara | Asia Pacific University (APU)

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School of Psychology Educational Field Trip to Headstart Academy Damansara

Early last month, twelve first-year students from the School of Psychology (SoP) at Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU) participated in an educational trip to Headstart Academy Damansara, an early childhood education centre providing early intervention programmes.

The visit was a strategic initiative led by Ms. Dhevaania C. Gendsen, a Psychology Lecturer from SoP, to cater to students studying developmental psychology modules under the Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Psychology degree programme. The visit provided them with hands-on skills and invaluable exposure to developmental issues among young children.

Upon arrival at Headstart Academy located at GLO Damansara Mall, APU students were greeted by Ms. Izwain Mohd Zaid, HR & Centre Manager of Headstart Academy Damansara, and Ms. Akma Ismail, Managing Director of Headstart Academy.

The primary goal of the field trip was to bridge theoretical knowledge with practical insights. The students had the privilege of observing and participating in various activities designed to address developmental challenges faced by young children. From sensory integration exercises to social interaction simulations, every moment was a lesson in understanding the complexities of early childhood development.

The Academy's interdisciplinary approach impressed upon our students the significance of collaboration among professionals in the field. They interacted with educators, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists, gaining a holistic view of the comprehensive efforts required to support children with diverse needs.

Furthermore, the field trip catalysed critical reflections on the ethical considerations and cultural nuances involved in developmental interventions, prompting thoughtful discussions among students about the importance of tailoring interventions to individual differences.

After concluding the visit, participating students shared their views. Ashwathy Sathish opined, “I appreciate Headstart Academy for providing us with the opportunity to observe and interact with the children. It was a memorable experience where we got to learn a lot, all while having fun at the same time. I would love to visit them again.”

Feeling contented, Ameerul Haziq bin Azizi enthused, “Our visit was just as much fun as it was insightful. The staff were incredibly welcoming, and they taught us a lot about how to take a more personalised approach to each of the children's needs. They are very dedicated, and their focus on helping the children creates a supportive environment that will have a meaningful impact on the children's lives.”

Echoing these sentiments, Soong Yuan Yi added, “I feel happy to have an opportunity to visit Headstart Academy. I did observe the kids like how they behave and respond to guidance.”

Yuki Yagi stated, “This is good practical exposure. I could see the differences in children's behaviour. In the view of gaining actual aspects of developmental observation, that was a precious experience as we could interact with the children.”

In conclusion, the educational field trip to Headstart Academy Damansara proved to be an enriching experience for the budding developmental psychologists at APU. The combination of hands-on activities, exposure to real-world challenges, and engagement with professionals in the field left an indelible mark on their understanding of developmental issues among young children. This excursion not only complemented their academic journey but also ignited a passion for making a positive impact on the lives of those they may one day serve in their future careers.