Topics in Early Childhood Education

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

It's All Bones

I was helping in my grandchildren's classrooms recently and was struck by the thought of how easily children will take control of their learning if given a chance.  One of the components of the HighScope curriculum, which I think is the most child-friendly approach to early learning, gives the child an opportunity each day to plan what she is going to accomplish within the guidelines of what is happening the classroom.  This opportunity to plan gives the child control of her learning and gives her a stronger sense of direction and purpose for the play and learning of the day.  I was assigned to help a kindergarten class make skeletons out of macaroni.  Although I did not have the opportunity to allow the children to plan everything they might do for the day, I decided to allow as much planning as possible.  I was given directions for a skeleton project, but decided to allow each child the opportunity to plan how to complete the project.  What great ideas they each had!  I was again reminded about allowing the child to take control of the project and not get caught up in the directions  that we adults may want to give. After all, it should be her project, not a copy of what the teacher wants to see.  That is how I learned that penne pasta makes pretty good ribs on a skeleton.



At 5:56 AM, Blogger Unknown said...


I'm Valkyria, I'm from Brazil and I work with early childhood education. I saw your blog and it's very interesting. Congrats! I'm starting a blog about the early childhood education too, if you want to take a look, my site is , please feel free to do any comments.


Valkyria Lopes Naghirniac

At 2:26 PM, Anonymous nini white said...

The earlier we can get kids purposefully tapping into their own curiosity, their own insights, their own wisdom ... and doing it collaboratively in the classroom with their peers ... the better off this world will be... short term and long term.

At 11:45 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

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At 5:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a big believer in the High Scope curriculum and totally agree with what you have to say, especially that projects should be a reflection of the child and not a copy of the teacher’s example. I work at a childcare center and it frustrates me when I walk into a classroom and see artwork that is obviously not the child’s work but a replica of what the teacher’s would look like. Teachers need to realize that by not allowing children to plan their own activities and create their own projects they are stifling their creativity. Thanks for your post.

At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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