Emergent Curriculum

There is an idea in early childhood education which states that children learn best when the subject matter interest them, is stimulating and age appropriate.  Emergent curriculum is the idea that curriculum for young children is birthed from the child’s perspective, interest and level of understanding.  This of course is all foundational in which the facilitator is responsible for providing materials and support to the active learner.  For example, if at large group time the children begin talking about the trash truck they saw on the way to school, the facilitator could suggest the class take a walking field trip around the neighborhood to see if they could find a trash truck picking up the garbage, they could talk about the importance of recycling, they could talk about the importance of taking care of the earth, they could talk about the idea of community workers.  The idea that we could take the child’s interest and build a whole curriculum around it is vital to the concept of emergent curriculum.  However, it is going to take the facilitator to think outside of the box and recognize that real world experiences are just as important to learning, as utilizing something like “Creative Curriculum”.  Why are teacher’s afraid of emergent curriculum? Why are we so locked into doing stuff, “the same old way?” What does it cost us to listen to children and build on what they are interested in?

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3 thoughts on “Emergent Curriculum

  1. Mark,

    I always keep an open mind in the classroom and make room for change when needed. If the children are interest in a topic it can make for a very fun day.

  2. Emergent curriculum is the only way to teach in our program. I think some teachers are taught to have themes and such so they can build their lesson plans. I think you can have some plans made but when an opportunity arises it needs to be taken and extended. The Project Approach is a way to extend what the children are interested in. Laurel

  3. Pingback: Talking About Emergent Curriculum and Creativity | Uplifting Freedom

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