An Emergent Approach to Early Childhood
An emergent approach 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 wide variety of resources in support of a child’s emerging interests. We use observation to guide as we learn alongside the children. We see the children’s interests as urges and continue to build and expand upon them while meeting developmental milestones.
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!
In an emergent environment, children learn to accept, understand, and appreciate the interests, skills, working styles, temperaments, and resources of the other children. Children learn to collaborate in diverse groups, and they 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 engaged in with fidelity, great things happen!