Choosing an Emergent Curriculum

Put simply, an emergent curriculum is a program which ‘emerges’ primarily from the interests of the child.

Unlike a formal program where content is drawn from a predetermined syllabus, an emergent program is based around a child’s capabilities and focus.

It is a play-based program that covers the requirements of the Early Years Learning Framework.

‘Emergent curriculum’ describes an approach to curriculum decision making that is responsive to children’s interests, and is meaningful, relevant and engaging for each child. An emergent curriculum has a strong theoretical base and is widely used in the early childhood sector.

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Emerging from Where?

Curriculum is viewed as a ‘child-initiated and educator framed’ process, a negotiated and co-constructed process in which educators and children have a voice (Jones and Nimmo, 1994). The direction of curriculum emerges from a variety of sources, other than the children’s interest. These sources include the environment, families, the community, social values and the interests of educators.

Kids Planting Trees

Learning in an Emergent Curriculum

As children participate in a play-based program, we use their natural curiosity, and desire to know, to motivate learning and promote development. An engaged and responsive early childhood practitioner will observe and document each child’s play and interaction, and carefully consider current interests and emerging competencies to plan experiences that will challenge current understandings and ignite interest.

Daycare Playtime

Intentional Teaching

While the curriculum is centred around the emerging interests of the child, learning is not left to chance. It requires professional knowledge, planning for learning, and a focus on progressing each child’s learning and development towards the learning outcomes (ACECQA, 2020).

Learning Cooking Skills

School Preparation

An emergent curriculum will prepare your child for school entry. Through the medium of play, children will be exposed to literacy and numeracy-based experiences through which current capabilities will be strengthened and extended. While you should not expect to see children participating in highly structured, written tasks that are best reserved for formal learning, you should expect a program that is deliberate, planned and has academic rigor and challenge.

Get Started with Habitat Early Learning

Whether you have already made a decision regarding your child’s early education, or you need some support to do so, we are here to help you get started.

Book a consultation and we will connect you with the right advisor to provide you with the information and support you need.

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