What is Emergent Curriculum?
Emergent Curriculum is a style of teaching that presents children with the gift of discovering the world around them by encouraging them to explore life through their own interests and passions. It is “child lead” or “child based” learning as a opposed to “teacher directed” learning.
To implement Emergent Curriculum successfully within a classroom requires creativity, flexibility, observation, documentation, and patience.
What is the Role of an Educator?
Educators encompass many roles in the profession of Early Childhood Education but within a CPE setting that promotes Emergent Curriculum educators take on the role of “co learners” instead of head teachers. They are challenged to be sensitive and show a genuine openness to the children’s interests and ideas. As a result of following the lead of the children the educators then create a stimulating environment with the hope to further each individual child’s exploration and learning on a certain topic.
The educators collect and present the children with as much information as they can gather, revealing it through experiences such as: visuals, art activities, webs, stories, circle times, songs,field trips, and guest speakers. Consequentially the educators strive to expose the children to as many “hands on” experiences as possible.
The educator’s objective through this method of teaching is to nurture positive social skills, encourage creative problem solving, supportthe developmental growth of a child and build a solid foundation from which children can stand on during their life.
In a Centre that Practices Emergent Curriculum What Should I Expect to See?
A centre that practices Emergent Curriculum will have an environment that promotes the delight of seeing things through a child’s eyes and presents this foreveryone to experience! There are many ways to see this around a centre such as:
- A child-friendly routine
- Learning centers
- Has an “open door” policy
- Uses webbing as a way to prepare for activities
How is Emergent Curriculum Beneficial to My Child’s Development?
Emergent Curriculum validates a child’s curiosity in learning and enables them to follow their passions. It lets them have the character building satisfaction of discovering by oneself. Emergent Curriculum focuses on a child’s strengths while improving on their areas of weaknesses. It reassures them that being unique and having an individual personality is a lifelong asset. It helps to create confident, self assured children who are hungry to learn about the world around them.
A large part of the emergent curriculum is documentation. Our program is supplemented by focused portfolios which is a tool for the ongoing observation and recording of each child’s development. It is a process to document children’s growth and is based on accepted developmental milestones charts. Focus portfolios include photographs and anecdotes for seven areas of development and is a document used to share information about the whole child, with each family.