Emergent Preschool Programs: Everything You Need to Know
This learning program can have varied constituents – depending on students and instructors. In this preschool program, teachers ensure the activities planned for the day are well suited to students’ current skill sets, needs, and curiosity. As such, each classroom teaches somewhat different material (depending on its students); and efficiently blends play-based and project-based activities.
Emergent preschool programs are based on the premise that children learn most successfully when their curriculum experiences account for their strengths, interests, needs, and lived realities. Teachers involved in such programs observe and interact with children throughout their day and use their observations to build curriculum content. This is followed by providing the children with meaningful learning opportunities to support essential developmental skills relevant to a particular age group. After the students have mastered the targeted skills via ongoing learning opportunities, the teachers will plan and implement increasingly difficult tasks to enrich their learning experiences. As students continue to confront and master these “attainable challenges,” they’ll start viewing themselves as proficient learners. Additionally, aligning the curriculum content with social realities and individual interests helps in validating all types of diversity and inspires an enduring passion for learning.
Emergent preschool programs ensure children feel fully welcome and safe to play, explore, and interact in the classroom. That’s why classroom settings following these programs encourage the children’s imagination and natural curiosity to work and develop. Such classrooms also encourage and allow adequate interaction among all children, which helps them build relationships with one another.
In emergent preschool programs, both children and adults take the initiative and make decisions. For instance, when creating the curriculum, the educator may negotiate between what the children are interested in and what is necessary for their education and development. It’s interesting to note that an emergent preschool curriculum is never created based on the children’s interests alone. Parents and teachers also have interests, concerns, and values that are worth bringing into the program. This collaborative nature of emergent preschool programs where teachers do not just interact with the students but even with parents, other teachers, and the community helps the classroom culture to evolve.
Emergent preschool programs have numerous advantages. They support unique learning needs. Additionally, they offer a flexible, child-centric, relationship-driven learning environment that encourages the expression of individual strengths, fosters creativity, and celebrates diversity in its fullest form. Since these programs are child-responsive, they encourage children to be constantly interested, engaged, and motivated to learn.