Emergent Curriculum: Play, Participation and Possibilities

Learning Geography by Looking at the World
A multi-ethnic group of elementary age students are learning the places of the world by looking at a globe in geography and history class.

The direction of Alberta’s child care framework for early learning is centred around an Emergent Curriculum approach. In particular, it deals with one of the most effective methods to aid in the development of daycare-aged children so that they will become successful in the future.

Success can be defined both at the time the child is receiving the curriculum, as well as the impact it will have on his or her well-being and success in the future. Emergent Curriculum is derived from the observation that a child develops his or her own curriculum based on the items, emotions, situations, and settings that present themselves. Naturally, parents ask the staff at Early Foundations, “How will the child know which area to discover or explore?”

One answer is that the role of teachers at Early Foundations is to present opportunities for teachable moments. The childcare staff act as researchers, and present various items, situations or environments for a child to explore. The child will then develop a testable-hypothesis and then using the scientific method, elicit the validity of his or her hypothesis. The results of this testing are then incorporated into another scenario, or the same situation can be revisited from a different perspective.

The goal of our staff is to simplify the process of learning that is appropriate for the age of each child and to communicate in a manner that is most suitable for his or her developmental level. For instance, a yellow toy truck can be used to create a web of possibilities; the child can make connections about round, black tires being linked to tires of other vehicles, and other rolling, round objects in the class such as a pizza roller in the kitchen. The colour black can be linked to the night, black crayons and the black colour that is observed when all paint colours are mixed together. Within the same exercise, the staff can encourage the child to count the number of tires, write out a worksheet with the number four, and write “Four” in alphabets to reinforce the concept from multiple angles.

Children learn best when all of the above is done in a play based fashion, and varying the tone of voice to make it easy for children to understand the nuances of human emotion, make learning not just fun but creates an environment full of discovery and adventure.

Interested parents can view Alberta’s Early Learning Framework. Parents are also welcome to visit us to find out how we are dedicated to providing Calgary’s Top Preschool and Daycare service and look forward to serving their childcare needs.

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