From 2003-2007, I was the start-up Director of a child care centre for 2-5 year olds. The centre community adopted a philosophy of early education based on our research and understanding of an Emergent Curriculum. Over the next week or so I will provide an overview of what I believe lies at the heart of this approach, starting today with that which is most important – the Image of the Child.
Understanding Emergent Curriculum: What Do We Mean By Image of The Child?
These are the beliefs about the child that are inherent to an Emergent Curriculum philosophy;
1. Children are capable, competent, curious and creative.
I talked further about this belief in this post – Perspectives. This philosophical shift empowers children as collaborators in their learning. The child moves from being one with needs which adults must meet to one with strengths and interests of his own. All children deserve the opportunity to be supported as they journey to reach their full potential.
3 year olds experimenting with the rainbows of light generated by a crystal in the sunshine.
3. Children are active, self motivated learners seeking to understand the world in which they live, and learn when supported through adult interactions.
The child has a right to a quality early education inclusive of relationships and experiences which promote learning and development.
4. Children learn by sharing their thinking with peers and adults.
A group of four 4 year olds recreating the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
5. The child is viewed as one being as a whole with infinite languages to communicate meaning and understanding.
These beliefs are based on everything we know (and can plainly see) about young children as learners. They just make sense.