Early Childhood Curriculum & Methods: ECE311
Instructor: Michael Walter
August 10, 2012
Preschool classroom’s fosters an exploratory play environment for children ages four to five to prepare students for private school kindergarten courses and utilizes North Carolina kindergarten standards to develop curriculum. Cumberland County public school system does not have the best reputation for educating students and has created a need for more private schools. Currently, we only offer a preschool program but plan to expand into the elementary school ages. As the new school year approaches I will be redesigning the classroom environment and curriculum by incorporating theories from Reggio Emilia, Creative Curriculum, and High Scope Curriculum along with including state standard activities to cover the main concepts for the core subjects to prepare for Kindergarten. Classroom environment and teaching strategies will incorporate philosophies and theories from Reggio Emilia, Creative Curriculum, High Scope Curriculum, and Piaget’s theory into a comprehensive curriculum design for preschoolers. When developing curriculum it is important for this age group to have several approaches. “Children ages 3–8 benefit from planned, teacher-guided, interactive small-group and large- group experiences” (NAEYC, 2009). “Reggio Emilia programs demonstrate how planning an environment is driven by respect for the rights of the child to a beautiful welcoming space that promotes relationships and attention to detail” (Jaruszewicz. 2012). Emergent curriculum introduces topics of study where lessons are child initiated and theme based on student’s interest. Another belief that I have started to practice is the importance of learned centered activities. I believe that with the environment being set up properly it can expand learning and gives me the opportunity to use emergent curriculum that “stems directly from children’s stated and implied interests and needs (Estes 2010).” Teachers use their careful and sensitive listening, observe and document process, reflect with the parents, and serve as resources and guides. In the art studio area, teachers encourage children to express their thoughts through different arts. We invite the students to explore, problem solve, work in small groups and document the progress to later reflect and make the learning visible (Edwards, C. P., 2002). Classroom space should all have separate organized areas with size appropriate structures, tables, and chairs. This curriculum is considered emergent because the topics of study and time frames are not predetermined allowing the child to develop and learn through interest and questions (Jaruszewicz, 2012). There are areas that include art to allow for free expression and dramatic play through centers. I think it is important to include the different areas of cooking, music and movement, outdoors, reading, sand and water, art, dramatic play, blocks, and playing with toys and games throughout the classroom as both free play and teacher directed activities. Children in this environment are surrounded by natural lightening and include both indoor and outdoor activities. This approach revolves around project work and typically in a classroom setting the subjects are through themes and determined whether teacher, child, or group initiated. His primarily philosophy is that it’s not a set planned written curriculum but the education is based on things that interest them without time standards in learning the topics. Essentially, Reggio Emilia teachers construct displays how children learn during long-term project work. The displays include images, scripts of children’s words, teacher reflection, and examples of children’s work (Jaruszewicz, 2012). The work is hung up in the classroom to be seen by the parents and students.
Creative Curriculum has very similar...
References: Common Core State Standards Initiative: Kindergarten Introduction. Retrieved from http://www.corestandards.org/Math/Content/K/introduction/
Edwards, C. P. (2002). Three Approaches from Europe: Waldorf, Montessori, and Reggio Emilia. Early Childhood Research and Practice, 4(1), 2-14. Retrieved from http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v4n1/edwards.html
Estes, LA., Krogh, S. (2012) Pathways to Teaching Young Children: An Introduction to Early Childhood Education. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Jaruszewicz, C. (2012). Curriculum and Methods for Early Childhood Educators. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education
National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2009). Key Messages of the Position Statement. Retrieved from http://www.naeyc.org/file/positions/KeyMessages.pdf
North Carolina Essential Standards (2014) Kindergarten Music- Essential Standards. Retrieved from http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/acre/standards/new-standards/arts/music/k-8.pdf
North Carolina Essential Standards (2014) Kindergarten Visual Arts- Essential Standards. Retrieved from http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/acre/standards/new-standards/arts/visual/k-8.pdf
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