Monday, January 28, 2013

Let the child choose...

If you have seen the movie "Accepted", you are on your way to understanding what emergent curriculum is....

If you haven't seen it, go out and rent it, torrent it, or cue it up in Netflix. It's a brilliant example of what it means to instill a free-spirited and yet stabilized method of teaching.

Now, I know what you might be thinking:

Getting prepared to enter into the world of early childhood education, I take higher interest in emergent curriculum as a form of teaching. Because, hey, who knows better what they want to learn than the child his/herself. I, for one, am certain that were I able to pick my own curriculum at insert local community college here, that I would've jumped (nay....leaped) at the chance!

For those that aren't quite familiar with the term emergent curriculum, it stems from the idea that we follow the child on their journey through life, uninterrupted by our need to instill a destination or outcome. When focus is given on a certain topic, whether that be slugs, bugs, paint, water or holes, we help to broaden their concept of what they are interested in and thus build our lesson around the focus of their discovery. Quite brilliant, eh?

Children have a way of showing us what they need in order to progress intellectually and emotionally. I believe it to be high time more child care centers start taking a little less time worrying about what the child should be learning, and a little more time focusing on what the child wants to learn.

The worry over teaching and involving children in dynamically structured lessons due to your crucial desire to stuff as much into their little heads during what has been overtly and obtusely referred to as their "formative years", is grossly overrated and highly unnecessary. Your child (just like mine and everyone else's) will formulate synaptic patterns just as efficiently as they are naturally meant to.

I believe the key here is to repeat this mantra everytime you hear the words "lesson plan":

Let the child choose.

It'll never let you down, because, all in all, they know what's best for their brain.

Let nature take it's course. It's been doing a great job for about 250,000 years or so.

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