Friday, September 17, 2004

The Reggio Emilia Approach

The Reggio Emilia Approach. Provides reasons why a pre-school uses this educational approach. Includes an overview of the method with links to resources.

From the site:

Hailed as an exemplary model of early childhood education (Newsweek, 1991), the Reggio Emilia approach to education is committed to the creation of conditions for learning that will enhance and facilitate children's construction of "his or her own powers of thinking through the synthesis of all the expressive, communicative and cognitive languages" (Edwards and Forman, 1993). The Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education is a city-run and sponsored system designed for all children from birth through six years of age. The Reggio Emilia approach can be viewed as a resource and inspiration to help educators, parents, and children as they work together to further develop their own educational programs. The Reggio Emilia approach is based upon the following principles:

Emergent Curriculum: An emergent curriculum is one that builds upon the interests of children. Topics for study are captured from the talk of children, through community or family events, as well as the known interests of children (puddles, shadow, dinosaurs, etc.). Team planning is an essential component of the emergent curriculum. Teachers work together to formulate hypotheses about the possible directions of a project, the materials needed, and possible parent and/or community support and involvement.

Project Work: Projects, also emergent, are in-depth studies of concepts, ideas, and interests which arise within the group. Considered as an adventure, projects may last one week or could continue throughout the school year. Throughout a project, teachers help children make decisions about the direction of study, the ways in which the group will research the topic, the representational medium that will demonstrate and showcase the topic and the selection of materials needed to represent the work.

Representational Development: Consistent with Howard Gardner's notion of schooling for multiple intelligences, the Reggio Emilia approach calls for the integration of the graphic arts as tools for cognitive, linguistic, and social development. Presentation of concepts and hypotheses in multiple forms of representation -- print, art, construction, drama, music, puppetry, and shadow play -- are viewed as essential to children's understanding of experience.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Nongraded Primary Education

Nongraded Primary Education. I believe strongly in handing out grades to elementary school students. Even if they don't care, often the parent does! And this helps create more support for teachers at home. This essay looks at the idea of not handing out grades at the primary level.

From the site:

In the mid-1800s, the revolutionary idea of mass public education created the need for an efficient, economical system capable of handling large numbers of students. Graded education--the practice of classifying and dividing students by age--spread rapidly throughout the United States and has remained the standard until the present (Goodlad and Anderson 1987). In the 1990s, educators and citizens are reevaluating their schools and proposing reforms to meet the needs of diverse social and economic groups. Nongraded primary education is a key component of many reform proposals, including the Kentucky Educational Reform Act and the Oregon Educational Act for the 21st Century.

Many experimental nongraded programs tried in the sixties and early seventies failed due to inadequate understanding, lack of administrative and community support, and poorly planned implementation. Today's nongraded model is supported by additional decades of research and refined by the study of successful programs.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Children's Museum of Denver

Children's Museum of Denver. Features interactive playscapes where children can touch and explore, try out roles and pretend. Hours, membership, ticketing, special events and location. This place looks fun! I wish I lived in Denver.

From the site:

Denver's best hands-on experience for children newborn to age eight and their grown-ups is both educational and just plain fun. Programs and playscapes are designed for newborns through age eight-year-olds and their adult caregivers.

Mission Statement

The Children's Museum of Denver is an essential learning resource that engages the young children of the Denver community in play and active exploration together with their parents and other adults to expand their capacity to learn.