What is Emmergent Curriculum?
Emergent curriculum is a way of planning curriculum based on the student’s interest and passions, as well as the teacher’s. To plan an emergent curriculum requires observation, documentation, creative brainstorming, flexibility and patience. Rather than starting with a lesson plan which requires a “hook” to get the children interested, emergent curriculum starts with the children’s interests.
Once teachers see an interest “emerging” they brainstorm ways with the children to learn more about the topic. A common technique to do this is called “Webbing”.
Webbing is often used because of its playful and flexible nature. A web doesn’t show everything that will be learned, it shows the many things that “could” be learned. It is important to use the webbing as a tool to open the teacher to all the learning “possibilities”. Webbing is a good way to get the ball rolling. Children chose an idea and brainstorm ways that they could make things happen. Putting all the activities on a web gives you a road map full of possible journeys.
Emergent curriculum allows children to develop long-term projects, deep concentration, and the ability to redirect themselves if they are bored or otherwise not engaged in an activity. This is fundamental to development of the positive associations that will support learning throughout their lifespan.
GOALS OF EMERGENT CURRICULUM
- To inspire delight, curiosity, celebration and inquiry in the classroom.
- To build intrinsic motivation and a long-term love of learning in children.
- To help children craft an internal compass to guide them as a learner, rather than relying on instruction and direction from others.
- To inspire children to be authors, inventors, illustrators, designers, dancers, singers, actors, etc. and to celebrate their unique talents and abilities.
- To maintain a program that is focused on the fundamentals of how and what children learn, so it can support and guide learning as it emerges naturally inside the centre, in the natural world, and in our community as a whole.
- To allow the natural pace of individual and group learning to emerge, and not be guided exclusively by the clock or calendar.
- To help children develop cooperation, partnerships, resource-sharing, decision making, and problem-solving skills.
Why Emergent Curriculum?
Because this is how children learn. They learn by doing and self-directing! And they will succeed in the future by learning to love learning. Their delight and spontaneous wonder will always be the first priority.