Kids’ Stuff utilizes the professional learning resource guide, “How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years” to ensure high quality experiences that lead to positive outcomes in relation to children’s learning, development, health and well being. Children between the ages of one and five do not learn because they are taught. They learn as a result of their own doing…through actions, relationships, inquiries, opportunities, and repetition. This knowledge is the foundation of our emergent curriculum. Our staff become research partners with children, seeking answers to questions and supporting investigation. Our centre is their laboratory, offering the materials and tools to inspire each child. At Kids’ Stuff, our first and most important goal is to inspire delight, curiosity, and inquiry in the classroom. Doing so has been proven to build intrinsic motivation (coming from within the child) and a long-term love of learning. Kids’ Stuff staff recognize children as competent and capable, curious and rich in potential.
What is Emergent Curriculum?
- Emergent curriculum is a method of planning based on observed interest of the children and interactions between teachers and children.
- Implementing an emergent curriculum requires observation, documentation, creativity and flexibility. Rather than starting with a structured plan, emergent curriculum begins with the children’s interests.
- When staff observe an “emerging” interest, they use this information to begin planning relevant experiences to assist the children to explore their ideas. This thought process is known as “webbing” and is used because of it’s flexible nature as it does not restrict children’s learning and focuses more on the possibilities of learning. As webs are based on the children’s interests, they are constantly changed to reflect these interests.
- With staff continually observing each child’s development and personal and social growth, individualized activities will be brought into the lesson plan. Children are able to bring to each activity, their own level of interest and development.
Goals of Emergent Curriculum
- To inspire delight, curiosity, celebrationandinquiryinthe 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 encourage consistent self-reflection and professional growth among staff, so they may always improve the quality of classroom experience.
- To allow the natural pace of individual and group learning to emerge, and not be guided exclusively by the clock.
- To create cooperation, partnership, and resource sharing between staff, students, parents and community partners.
- To give children an organized environment in which to use all of their senses and faculties to learn.
- To recognize that critical learning takes place during conflict, negotiation, brainstorming and resolution.
- To support the varied learning styles (visual, auditory, sensory, verbal, etc.).
- To carry out assessment in the form of child portfolios and documentation of learning.
- To honour and welcome children with unique needs into our school community.
- To practice supportive social learning rather than punishment.
A Word on “Free Play”
Play is important to healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very young age engage and interact with the world around them. Play allows children to create and explore a world they can master, conquering their fears while practicing adult roles, sometimes in conjunction with other children or adult caregivers. As they master their world, play helps children develop new competencies that lead to enhanced confidence and the resiliency that they will need to face future challenges. Undirected play allows children to learn how to work in groups, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts and to learn self-advocacy skills. When play is allowed to be child-driven, children practice decision-making skills, move at their own pace, discover their own areas of interest, and ultimately engage fully in the passions they wish to pursue. Kids’ Stuff incorporates indoor and outdoor play, as well as active play, rest and quiet time into the day while giving consideration to the individual needs of the children receiving care.
In an effort to affirm each child and family at the centre in their choices of cultural holiday and celebrations, we encourage families to share their special rituals and traditions throughout the year. Each of us has something special to share, making our style of celebration unique. Your child and all of the children and staff will grow and benefit from this diversity.