What is the Emergent Curriculum?
Emergent curriculum is based on the premise that children are most successful at learning when curriculum experiences follow their interests, strengths, needs, and experiences. Educators committed to this philosophy use observations of children throughout their day as a tool for developing the curriculum content. Meaningful learning opportunities are provided in support of key developmental skills relevant to a specific age group. In addition, the alignment of curriculum content with individual interests and social realities serves to validate all forms of diversity and inspires a lifelong passion for learning.
What is the Kidex Emergent Curriculum plan?
Kidex Childcare uses a curriculum “web,” which our early childhood educators post as a visual representation of the learning experiences. The benefit of the curriculum web is that it allows flexibility in delivering the content with changing needs and interests of the children. It also encourages creative and open-ended thinking, which serves as a stark contrast to the restricted, linear approach that is typical of more traditional classrooms.
Group interests for the week are shown at the centre of the curriculum web. Experiences in each of the curriculum areas are then recorded as interests. Typically, curriculum categories vary according to the age group of the children or the individual program priorities.
Infant and toddler programs at Kidex Childcare offer curriculum experiences in the following areas: Art/Sensory; Language; Gross/Fine Motor; Block Play; Drama; Music; Cognition; and Science/Math.
Our Preschool curriculum webs follow the Ministry of Education’s curriculum areas including: The Arts (Visual Arts; Music; Drama); Language (Oral; Written); Math; Science; Physical Play; Science and Technology; and Personal and Social Development.
Why use the Emergent Curriculum?
Research shows that children use play as a medium for exploring and manipulating their physical environment, and that the integration of new knowledge is best assured when children are actively engaged and when learning experiences align with their interests, strengths and learning styles. Traditional approaches to instruction for young children continues to be initiated by the teacher, who delivers content and themes that are planned and prepared in advance. Child-centred topics of study are abandoned in favour of “cookie-cutter” curriculum experiences that treat children as passive participants in the learning process. The end result is an early educational experience that lacks in imagination and relevance.
What is the role of the teacher?
In the beginning, our Kidex staff use their knowledge of child development theory and follow the child’s lead by providing materials for children to actively explore and get a deeper understanding of a particular topic of interest. In addition to providing ongoing opportunities for play-based exploration, the Kidex emergent curriculum also requires educators to document learning as it unfolds. Documenting learning experiences helps teachers understand where they have been and inspires ideas for where the curriculum might go next. It also helps children retain and understand the process of their own learning and gives parents concrete representations of their children’s developmental growth. Our individual findings are shared in partnership with our parents who are encouraged to expand on these findings in the home.
Emergent "Web" Example:
In the example below, the weekly theme is "Water", and from there our Kidex staff expand the web to include additional topics based on the children's interests and input from the teacher.
lessons tailored to the children's interests
encourages group learning and collaboration
WIDELY PRACTICED AND SUPPORTED BY THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION & day nurseries act
inspires a passion for learning