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The Project Approach. Curriculum Planning that Makes Sense Presenters: Kellie Cole, Gwen Simmons, Mary Wadeson SDAEYC/SDHSA 2006 Annual Conference Spearfish, South Dakota.

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the project approach

The Project Approach

Curriculum Planning that Makes Sense

Presenters: Kellie Cole, Gwen Simmons, Mary Wadeson

SDAEYC/SDHSA 2006 Annual Conference

Spearfish, South Dakota

constructing appropriate curriculum
Provides for all areas of child’s development: physical, emotional, social, linguistic, aesthetic and cognitive.

 Children directly participate by conducting experiments, writing, solving problems, performing, collecting and analyzing data.

Adapted from Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs, Revised Edition, NAEYC

Important and worthwhile

Builds on what children already know

Makes meaningful connections and provides opportunities for in-depth study

Promotes knowledge and understanding, process and skills

Supports children’s home culture and language

Goals are challenging but achievable

Constructing Appropriate Curriculum
history
Progressive Education movement – British Infant Schools 1960’s and 1970’s

Lillian Katz 1989

Reggio Emilio

History
what is a project
What is a Project?
  • A project is an in-depth investigation of a topic worth learning about.
  • Usually taken by a small group of children within a class, sometimes by a whole class, and sometimes by an individual child
  • (The Project Approach, Katz, 1994)
practical considerations
Practical Considerations
  • Concrete vs. abstract
  • Familiar topic
  • Easily related to prior experiences
  • Field sites easy to visit
getting started
Getting Started
  • Phase 1
    • Selecting the topic
    • Anticipatory teacher planning
    • Finding out what children know
    • Building common ground
  • Phase 2
    • Developing the Project
    • Preparing for investigation
    • Investigation
    • Field site visits
  • Phase 3
    • Concluding the Project
    • Documentation
    • Evaluation
phase 1
Phase 1
  • Opening Event
    • Story, video, object
  • Topic Web Plan
    • Collecting ideas, what do they already know?
  • Listing Questions
    • Investigation, what do they want to know?
phase 2 developing the project
Phase 2Developing the Project
  • Reviewing the “anticipatory web”
  • Preparation for field work and field experts
  • Investigation
phase 3 concluding the project
Phase 3Concluding the Project
  • Culminating the event
  • Personalizing the knowledge
  • Documentation
benefits of projects in early years
Benefits of Projects in Early Years
  • Academic Achievement
    • Minds On! Feelings On! Hands On!
  • Social and Emotional Development
    • …”a relationship between the role that children have in determining their own learning experiences and the development of social skills” (Devries, Reese-Learned, I Morgan , 1991)
  • Parent Involvement
    • Parents’ involvement in their children's education is significantly related to children's success in school (Henderson & Berla, 1994).
    • Volunteering, learning at home, communicating with the home, and collaborating with the community (Epstein 1995)
the truck project
THE TRUCK PROJECT
  • By: Jennifer Heaton
  • Beech Hill Elementary School, Summerville, SC
  • A class of 5-year-old kindergartners undertook this project in February and March of 1999. Our class began a unit on transportation, during which my students became interested in "big trucks".
the truck project12
The Truck Project
  • Opening Event
the truck project13
The Truck Project
  • Field Work

Investigation

Representation

the truck project14
The Truck Project
  • Visiting Expert
the truck project15
The Truck Project
  • Concluding the Project
  • Documentation
the apple project
The Apple Project
  • By Mary Wadeson and Staff
  • Banana Bunch Child Care and Preschool, Rapid City, South Dakota
  • This was a collaborative effort between the director and preschool teacher.
the apple project17
The Apple Project
  • Preparation for Field Work
the apple project19
The Apple Project

Field Work Follow Up

teacher s role
Teacher’s Role
  • Researcher
  • Provide resources
  • Sustain
  • Enrich
resources
Resources
  • www.project-approach.com - The Project Approach
  • www.naeyc.org - The National Association for the Education of Young Children
  • zerosei - the municipal infant-toddler centers and preschools of reggio emilia - Reggio Emilia
  • www.earlychildhoodconnections.com
  • Gsimmons@rushmore.com