Curriculum Approaches

2578 Words May 22nd, 2010 11 Pages
Montessori and Reggio Emilia are progressive approaches to early childhood education that appear to be growing in New Zealand and have many points in common. In each approach, children are viewed as active authors of their own development, strongly influenced by natural, dynamic, self-righting forces within themselves, opening the way towards growth and learning. Teachers depend on carefully prepared, aesthetically pleasing environments that serve as a pedagogical tool and provide strong messages about the curriculum and about respect for children. Partnering with parents is highly valued in both these approaches and children are evaluated by means other than traditional tests and grades. This essay will discuss the features of Reggio …show more content…
The effect of this Reggio Emilia environment is that it informs and engages both the learner and observer (New, 1998).

Besides that the learning within the Reggio Emilia approach is often carried out in groups as projects where the teacher is seen as a facilitator, a guide, a resource person, documentarian and a team member (New Zealand Tertiary College, 2009). The way in which the educator is able to achieve this is by involving children in project work either individually or in small groups. Reggio Emilia educators believe that this leads to children having some control over the things they are going to learn and study, thus becoming “powerful, active, competent leading role of their own growth” (Edwards et al., 1998.p.180). This is also consistent in the Te Whariki strand, Exploration, Goal 3, where children develop “a perception of themselves as explorers”- competent, confident learners who ask question and make discoveries” (MoE,1996).

In addition another relevant teaching technique for extending children’s learning and development in any area is co-construction. Co-construction increases the level of knowledge being developed. This occurs when active learning happens in conjunction with working with others (e.g. having opportunities for work to be discussed, questioned, and explored). Having to explain ideas to someone else clarifies these ideas. In addition,
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