|Type of paper:
|Teaching Planning Learning Child development
This is a philosophy that premises its approach or technique on the integration of the children's interests in the curriculum. For such a curriculum to be planned and developed strategically, there ought to be intense teacher observation and documentation, so that it is that which is observed that triggers or initiates the curriculum (Epstein, 1978). In this case, the children are regarded as participant researchers, as well as co-constructors of knowledge.
The community equally plays a significant role in the emerging curriculum. It forms a part of the environment with which children live in, interact with, and learn from. Cumulatively, the emerging curriculum is anchored on what exactly the children are interested in, what talents or abilities they showcase, what it is they learn from the community, and acknowledging the children's ability to be co-authors with the educators.
For instance, during a nature walk, the children may come across a bird's nest. This incident could motivate future activities within the classroom, such as building nests from papers or sticks; the children playing the role of birds with different play skills; exploring books or drawings on birds; commencing a bird-watching observation log, etc. (Epstein, 1978). In this case, it is the collective interest of the children on the nest that is utilized in their different learning sessions. This would be an example of the implementation or development of an emerging curriculum.
Effective emerging curriculums need the teachers to share what they have planned with the students first. In so doing, they can deliberately prioritize that which the children showed more interest in. Thereafter, any resultant curriculum needs to rely on the following elements: make more time for free play; encourage students to play together; find out what the students know prior to learning; take notes and photos to be utilized during planning; and come up with flexible plans.
Making more time for free play helps the teacher understand the children better and what their interests are. Further, it grants the children the freedom and time to do that which they please. Teachers are then able to notice some of the behavioral patterns exhibited by these children (Feinburg & Mindess, 1996). Through such observations, teachers can understand their thinking, and utilize such information in knowing exactly how to support their development.
Encouraging students to play together creates arguably the best atmosphere for their observation. It indicates different elements of social-emotional development. It shows whether they are able to relate with each other seamlessly or whether they are struggling with it. From such observations, the teachers know how best to help the children develop such vital skills. Their capability and competence as groups are also tested.
Determining what the children know regarding a particular subject prior to everything else is an essential element for the emergent curriculum. It aids in making their learning, while at groups, more meaningful and tailored to meet the unique needs and abilities of all. The best way to achieve this would probably be through informal one-on-one discussions with the children.
Taking down notes and photos to be utilized during planning is equally crucial. It helps in documenting or capturing every crucial detail gathered from observing the activities of the children. The plans teachers come up with ought to be made as flexible as possible. This gives the children the flexibility to do that which interests them (Feinburg & Mindess, 1996). From such flexibility in different interests, a predictable routine can be determined.
It is worth noting that children have different strengths, challenges, interests, as well as ideas. The essence of an emergent curriculum is that it allows childhood educators to focus on the child, respond appropriately to the various needs they may have, and lay out a program that is customized to them and like-minded peers. These learning programs are not cast in stone. Instead, they are flexible and evolve from time to time, according to the children's spontaneous and changing needs.
It seeks to build on the children's existing strengths and knowledge, as well as to motivate them to reason in new ways. Ideally, the teachers will attempt to know the children; listen to the thoughts and ideas they have; grant the children time and space to do what interests them, either individually or in groups; watch out for key learning opportunities that arise; build on the children's previous learning and existent interests.
While the children mostly steer it, it also has other essential elements of consideration. For instance, what the interests and priorities of the teachers are; the interests and concerns of the children's families; the social and physical environment demands; and the values and principles that guide the children's education and care (Greenspan & Wieder. 1998). The children are granted the chance to make choices in learning; follow that which interests them; ask any questions they have regarding anything; participate in learning experiences that are exciting, challenging and motivating; remain focused regarding their learning programs; expressive and enhance language skills, while developing their creative skills.
As the children's interests vary and their learning progresses, the teachers are tasked to offer a new set of activities and projects. This could be done individually or in groups and could take days or weeks to complete. It suffices to say that an emergent curriculum is an ideal way of making the most of the children's interests, keeping them engaged, and facilitating their effective learning.
In the videos, the children seem entirely involved in the exercises going on. They equally appear to love what they are doing, as they seem happy. They constantly converse amongst themselves, and equally, stare at that which their colleagues are doing. They are permitted to express themselves with no limitation whatsoever. For instance, after being provided with crayons for drawing, they go ahead and draw everything that comes to mind. While some of the drawings may not bear any ideal meaning, the teachers are heard congratulating the children and encouraging them in the expressions. One of the other kids, after hearing the other's drawing being praised, goes for an eraser and begins to do the same.
The children are observed to mimic the ordinary adult table setup. They have small conversations and help each other fill their glasses. One of the kids instructs the other not to fill her glass, and how to go about the mixture ratios. All the while, the teachers stay off and do not interfere or interrupt the kids. What is apparent is the teacher's failure to criticize the children. Instead, she inquisitively engages the children, seeking to understand the reasoning behind the child's creativity. Further, they constantly praise the children, look impressed, and engage them to keep going. To motivate them, she promises them a few gifts.
Generally, the attention span, levels of creativity, and manner of expressions are being tested on these kids. They have been provided with the freedom to express their creativity in whatsoever ways. In interacting with nature, the children are allowed to have a general feeling of what the environment entails.
Epstein, H., 1978. Growth spurts during brain development: Implications for education policy and practice. In J. Child & A. Mersey. Education and the Brain. Chicago: University of Chicago Press
Feinburg, S. & M. Mindess. 1996. Eliciting children's full potential: Designing and evaluating developmentally based programs for young children. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks Cole.
Greenspan, S., & S. Wieder. 1998. Learning to think abstractly: Helping children with special needs connect ideas and develop a logical understanding of the world. Early Childhood Education Today. 22-23
Ontario. (2007). Early learning for every child today: A framework for Ontario early childhood settings. Toronto: Ministry of Children and Youth Services.
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