An Emergent Approach to Early Childhood
An emergent curriculum involves the whole child, meaning all realms of development and learning; cognitive, social, emotional and physical.
What does that mean in practice? In practice, we provide a multitude of resources, and respectful support of a child’s emerging interests. We use observation to guide our practice, as we observe the children’s interests. We see the children’s interests as urges (play urges) and continue to build and expand upon them.
While we provide the materials, the children initiate the explorations, expressing themselves in their own way. These explorations become units, or themes and can last days, weeks or months. Often times, they will morph into new paths of inquiry and investigation, and the fun begins again!
Within learning groups, in an emergent curriculum, children learn to accept, understand, and appreciate the interests, skills, working styles, temperaments, and resources of the other children. This is useful for learning to collaborate in diverse groups, and allows children to begin mastering important skills such as emotional regulation and empathy- the foundation for a lifetime of successful interactions with others.
The role of our classroom staff is to be alert to the intrigue of the children and to provide rich resources to support and expand on those interests. There is real magic to the approach, and when egaged in with fidelity, great things happen!