Part 1: Progressive Emergent Curriculum Proposal
An emergent curriculum demands that an educator teaching young children should vacate the traditional and conventional mode of teaching and introduce a thoughtful plan that will cover children's skills and needs. Educators are encouraged to use flexibility and creativity as they react to the classroom needs and the children's needs. The curriculum will follow comments and observations made after a careful reflection and observations of the young children's ability to conceptualize the environment and exposure to the different specimen. Therefore, the emerging curriculum that is drafted and used by the teacher works along the learners as constructors of learning, while concentrating to the children's thinking, comprehension, and questions (Stacey, 2011). For a complete set of the curriculum, the educator plays the role of an observer, guide, research partner, and ask open-ended questions that will continually reflect and show enthusiasm in the process of learning. This paper thus focuses on an emergent curriculum that covers literacy, math, and social studies. When implemented the curriculum will encompass theoretical and practical aspects of a given subject where the experiences of adults and those of the larger society can influence the knowledge gained by the young learner as they interact with the real world. This will ensure that every child interacts with social life as suggested in the theory of John Dewey (Tanner, 2007).
For instance, during their usual play time, I accompanied the children to the field. One of them discovered moving snails and out of curiosity wanted to touch and pick them. They had sparked a lot of curiosity and interest as many more children gathered around them with each child trying to know what the snails were and how they behaved. I asked them to put the small animals plus other including ants and worms in clear boxes as I realized their curiosity would be relevant to develop learning skills.
In Math, for example, the children will participate actively in mathematical investigations including discussions and solving problems. During the exposure, the children will be expected to count the number of snails they encountered, estimate their size, estimate the speed at which they move maybe by comparing it with the speed of moving cars and bicycles. By doing this, it will be easier for the young learners to understand numbering in numerals, instill the ideas of adding and subtracting, conceptualize speed, length, heights, and width of items around them. It will, in turn, play a pivotal role when they are asked to calculate the different aspects of a given item. The tutor could also engage the learners in molding numerical figures; collect some items and measure distances.
When tackling literacy, the same exposure to terms and terminologies used when describing the creatures will be used to support the young learners to speak, read, listen, write and view as a way of improving their literacy (Prince Edward Island, 2008). When interacting with the environment, the educator will allow the learners to pronounce terms and terminologies as well as write the term they encounter while interacting with actual items they see and touch. It will be easier for them to conceptualize what they are writing or reading as they have already seen it and know what it is. On the other hand, what they have been reading and writing or listening to their teachers will be vivid and comprehensible to their learning as they can see and interact with. For instance, when told to write the word snail, ant, or salamander they already know what it is as they have seen it. The concept of improving literacy will be real as the discoveries and learning materials are translated into measurable and tangible facts. The curriculum will also expect the students to recite and explain to the others what they have seen, read and interacted with while in the field. As such the learners will enhance their vocabulary, articulation, diction and correct pronunciations (Prince Edward Island, 2008).
While concentrating on learning Social Studies, the teacher will be expected to fully lead the young children to understand their environment and interact with the real world. For instance, the curriculum recommends that the students be allowed to visit nearby museums, forests and other natural environmental sceneries for them to have the first-hand grip of what is contained in the theoretical work they study in class. They also are taught on the concepts of history in a more practical manner( Egan, 2012). For instance, the program recommends that the children be taught the different types animal species, the relationship between them and the environment and how they are expected to live with one another while interacting freely with nature. When taken to a museum, they will be exposed to different species of artifacts including those of animals, trees, communities and geographical nature. As they interact with one another with the guidance of their educator, they will improve their understanding of the theoretical learning they have and will encounter in class. For example, when taught of lions and they have seen them or talk of dinosaurs and have seen their models in the museum they will aptly comprehend. Another example, a museum may be showing films about small creatures like the ants, snails, the different species of worms among others. The educator is expected to guide and answer questions that may emerge from the learners to help them internalize what they will see comparing to the theoretical aspect of the class.
To run this curriculum, my primary role as the educator is to work as a researcher. With the researcher-tutor role, it is possible to attentively listen, document and observe what the children are doing or working on. For instance, when they busy in the museum or a forest interacting with the environment it is thorough to learn alongside them as we engage, ask and answer the question that emerges. The free interaction provokes co-constructs and stimulates thinking amongst the children and makes learning easier and enjoyable (Highland Plaza United Methodist Preschool, 2016). As the teacher, it also enhances my ability to reflect on their teaching and learning. Again, for the effectiveness of the implementation of the curriculum program, it is important to document the visible changes amongst the learners that will inform the next cause of actions and learning processes. Additionally, observation and interpretation of the activities the children are engaging in and explaining to them whatever they may deem important is important to hold, is important in creating a context of the deep learning process that promotes the learner as an independent researcher or investigator. The other role is to organize the environment as this organization creates inspiration for the children's learning. This includes setting up the appropriate artifacts and fields that the learners will interact with as they study. My other role is to aid the young learners to see the connection between their experiences and learning as well as help them to express their gained knowledge through the projects they are undertaking (Highland Plaza United Methodist Preschool, 2016). Parents will also be of the essence in this development as they act as the secondary teachers to their children, and as such as the educator we will have a continuous dialogue about the programs encompassed in the emerging curriculum.
Part 2: NAEYC Standard
The NAEYC has ten standards set for early childhood program that guides parents and teachers to check on the competency of a preschool and that of a particular teacher. They include relationships, the curriculum, teaching, health, families, and assessment of the children progress, community relationships, staff competencies, physical environment and leadership (National Association for the Education of Young Children, 2018). The program should promote positive relationships amongst all learning children and adults, with a program that is in line with the objectives of the young children that promote learning and social development and that which uses a variety of teaching approaches. The emerging curriculum should promote the nutrition aspect of the children, support teaching staff that is qualified and competent and can create and maintain collaborative relationships with the children families. More importantly, the program should employ a safe environment that provides an appropriate both indoor and outdoor environments and effectively employs all policies, systems, and procedures that support strong personnel and stable staff.
To prove that the curriculum has been helpful there is need to explore artifacts that show evidence of learning experiences. The following artifact is a representation of three young girls who tremendously improve their score in beyond expectations despite appearing as dunderheads when they were compared to their colleagues. The three performed poorer than the other kids raising a concern among the educators as they portrayed little understanding of the subject. After introduction to this curriculum, they greatly improved their scores and performed better than their peers.
NAEYC Standard one
In my observation, I addressed four out of the ten NAEYC standards. Among them is standard one; that allows parents and students to visit the program. I address how educators are supposed to assist the three young girls to accommodate changes in the new program and also adjust to the new environment. The teachers help the girls resolve internal conflicts by identifying their feeling towards learning offer them various ways to achieve better results and avoid physical punishment as result of failure or perceived delayed understanding of learning processes or particular subjects.
NAEYC Standard Two
My focus also touches standard two that aims at achieving all aspects involved in child development including the cognitive, physical, language, emotional and social aspects. Children are allowed to play and interact with one another as well be creative as we see the three girls do. For instance, they are allowed to find small animals, enquire about them and challenge one another with inquisitive questions that provoke continuous understanding of several subjects. At some point, the teachers provide necessary materials such as drawing, curving and modeling clay to keep the children interested.
NAEYC Standard Three
The program also concentrates on standard three that encompasses all the critical aspects of teaching including assessing, documenting and continuous observation of the kids. This allows teachers to monitor and understand the different capabilities, learning styles, capacities and interests which then inform them on what appropriate method or approach they will use for each particular kid. This approach was very instrumental for the three girls.
NAEYC Standard Nine
I also address standard nine in my artifact of the three girls, where it addresses the need for a healthful and safe environment that offers appropriate both outdoor and indoor activities. Both teachers and parents ensure that there's a variety of equipment or material appropriate for kids' ages, abilities and skills that will foster improved learning.
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