Although we do have daily and weekly activities planned as possibilities for the children in advance, the main focus of the learning program is taught through emergent curriculum.
In traditional classrooms the teacher initiates the curriculum. Each unit has a theme and activities are planned and prepared in advance. Emergent curriculum builds on the interests of children. It’s often spontaneous and driven by the ideas, excitement, information and questions from the children. The children’s ideas are supported and extended by providing materials, books, art supplies, and experiences through which the children can learn more about their natural interests and curiosities.
In emergent curriculum, the initial topic can spring off in many directions combining several topics. Each topic may last a day, a week, a month or more-as long as the children are interested in exploring the ideas. All curriculum plans are tentative, and the children modify them by their response, thus they are merely “Planned Possibilities”.
Curriculum is what actually happens in an educational environment, not what is planned to happen. Everything in a young child’s world is curriculum; it is up to the adults in their world to allow every opportunity possible for them to discover it. Young children invent and organize their own curriculum all of the time. They are motivated learners, studying the world through their play everyday.