Emergent Curriculum I and II: The Child as Meaning Maker

In this two-semester course, children’s interests and approaches to learning across early childhood and childhood are emphasized in developing curricula with multiple entry points. We will reflect on ways of knowing in our own learning and that of the children, exploring teaching strategies that value, as well as expand, children’s knowledge and modes of thinking and learning. We will discuss how children’s interests and questions connect to the large ideas and questions at the core of the subject-matter disciplines with emphasis on Social Studies, Science, the Arts and Humanities. Central to the course is understanding how to create a curriculum that is driven by ideas—striving for wholeness, integration, coherence, meaning—and focused on assisting children in applying knowledge and thinking to real-life problems.

We discuss curriculum and teaching strategies for individual subject areas, with focus on the connections among disciplines, building towards an interdisciplinary approach to curriculum and instruction.  During each semester we will also engage in hands-on inquiry in a workshop setting, reflecting on our own learning and that of our peers.  Through this process implications are drawn forward regarding the teacher’s role in accommodating differing approaches to learning.