I want to use this post to conclude my thoughts and connect some of the ideas I shared here on this website. First, I am no way stating that a thematic style of teaching is horrific and damaging to the child's learning. I am suggesting that there are more updated styles of teaching that there are more updated ways to enhance children's critical thinking skills and problem solving skills. With this being said, I see many benefits to emergent curriculum following either path of the Project Approach and it's three step process or the Reggio Emilia Approach. Both are very similar and strongly suggest the importance of a longitudinal study of a topic that is child-directed. I think it would be beneficial if all preschools move in this direction to build a strong foundation of research skills, skills that will be necessary when furthering their education.  So let's move away from this idea that teachers feed information to children and move closer to the acknowledgment that children's are capable to create and develop their own learning when provided with an environment and activities that encourage them to dig deeper for answers. Dittos and coloring pages are not how children make connections, so we really need to evaulate their use in the classroom. I think we as educators can think more outside the box than we give ourselves credit for. So lets move away from prescribed kits that relate nothing to the culture of our classroom to develop authentic lesson plans that children can relate to. Let's look at the child and let them take the lead for once.

A great blog highlights some of these key components and her personal experience transitioning from thematic curriculum to emergent curriculum.

The picture above was a recreation of the Emerald City, a two month long investigation of the movie "Wizard of Oz". It was started by a young child seeing a production of the movie on stage and burst into a discovery of it's architecture and story line.

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    Lydia Saldivar -Grad student at Michigan State University 


    April 2013