Image courtesy of Best Way to Encourage Children
I came across the following after clicking on a link on a parenting blog. It discusses curriculums in the Reggio Emilia Approach :
“The topic of investigation may derive directly from teacher observations of children’s spontaneous play and exploration. Project topics are also selected on the basis of an academic curiosity or social concern on the part of teachers or parents, or serendipitous events that direct the attention of the children and teachers. Reggio teachers place a high value on their ability to improvise and respond to children’s predisposition to enjoy the unexpected. Regardless of their origins, successful projects are those that generate a sufficient amount of interest and uncertainty to provoke children’s creative thinking and problem-solving and are open to different avenues of exploration. Because curriculum decisions are based on developmental and sociocultural concerns, small groups of children of varying abilities and interests, including those with special needs, work together on projects.
Projects begin with teachers observing and questioning children about the topic of interest. Based on children’s responses, teachers introduce materials, questions, and opportunities that provoke children to further explore the topic. While some of these teacher provocations are anticipated, projects often move in unanticipated directions as a result of problems children identify. Thus, curriculum planning and implementation revolve around open-ended and often long-term projects that are based on the reciprocal nature of teacher-directed and child-initiated activity. All of the topics of interest are given by the children. Within the project approach, children are given opportunities to make connections between prior and new knowledge while engaging in authentic tasks…”
(Reggio Emilia Approach)
This is what I feel Dogme for YLs looks like.
- Teacher as co-learner
- Focus on interests and needs of the people in the room
- A focus on social concerns.
- Spontaneity and flexibility integral to curriculum extension
While the current curriculum I work in is quite rigid, I always work to create the types of environments above whenever possible and constantly seize on opportunities to take lessons in interesting directions based on learner input. The result is often very chatty and engaged students
Does anyone work in a program like this? What results have you seen?