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What is an Emergent Curriculum… and why is it important to follow for young children?

Richland Academy / Making Learning Visible  / What is an Emergent Curriculum… and why is it important to follow for young children?

What is an Emergent Curriculum… and why is it important to follow for young children?

We often talk about the Kindergarten Curriculum being an Emergent Curriculum.  It does emerge from the children’s interests, but also the teacher’s interests and the success criteria embedded in The Full Day Kindergarten Curriculum.  Research tells us that  the interests of children provide a window for learning.   Close observation of the children by their teachers leads to recognising these windows, and teaching through them.Close observation of the children at the moment has shown an interest in understanding balance,  measurement,  storytelling, a  natural curiosity towards the changing seasons, (particularly leaves and insects),  trash, and a strong need to write lists and names if the children in our class.  The children need to see that their voice is heard in the curriculum, and so we will continue to explore these over the coming weeks, and use these as a means to deepen their understanding of math, literacy, technology, the arts and science. The walls of our classroom reflect these interests.

Responding to these interests can take many paths.  A simple discussion in a small or large group, or an activity and materials presented as a provocation to deepen the children’s understandings.  A visit by an ‘expert’, project work, reading factual and fictional books to the children, and using technology as a tool to build understandings. The learning journey is documented, and traces of the children’s and teacher’s thinking made visible. This is the cycle of inquiry.  A  continuous process of observation, reflection, intentional response, and documentation.  This documentation then drives the learning forward.

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