Pathways To Learning Hong Kong Registered School 566985 & 600733
Menu

Letting Children Lead: Developing Skills for the Next Generation

Written by

How can young children direct their own learning? Will they not just want to play? These are common questions we hear at Fairchild where we provide an emergent curriculum based on children’s interests and where we make learning through play meaningful, impactful, fun and memorable. We observe children’s interests, we pose questions, and before we know it, there is room full of children engaging in discussion, asking questions, solving problems, and coming up with ideas. These ideas are the basis for the children’s class projects delivered in the Reggio Emilia inspired approach of learning through play and inquiry.

At Fairchild, we understand that children are innately curious and when given the space, time and guidance they are able to learn naturally in an authentic and safe environment which allows them to make sense of the world around them. In creating this learning experience, each class is guided by an emergent curriculum where children’s own interests set the “theme” or “topic’” for exploration. Through the emergent curriculum not only are all children’s interests taken into account, but children take ownership of their learning, making decisions from an early age. Children are intrinsically motivated and invested in learning when they have chosen to explore something of interest to them and their authentic experiences make learning memorable and long lasting.

The demands of an ever-changing world, mean that skills required for the next generation are different to those deemed important in the past. Employers now list problem solving, emotional intelligence, critical thinking, creativity and effective communications with people, as critical work skills. It is incumbent now on educators, parents and the community as a whole, to prepare and equip children with the necessary skills for future success. Moving away from the traditional style of teaching where teachers share pre-determined information and adapting the learning environment, are key factors in preparing the upcoming generations to meet these needs.

Many parents are new to the emergent curriculum concept, relating learning only to their own school experiences. An example of an authentic emergent learning project was when Fairchild’s K2 class came up with the idea to create a house. It started with one room but soon became a fully equipped home as the children developed their ideas through role play, collaboration, creativity, and communication. The bathroom design presented a problem however and the class could not decide where the sink should go. Following much debate, a collaborative decision was made and with the sink’s location determined, hot-water and cold-water taps were added. The bathroom was further enhanced by the addition of a mirror and a clock.

By respecting the children's choices, we empower them to feel confident and capable in their decision making, which connects and reflects the world they live in. The children have fun, the smiles on their faces are proof of that and all the while, they are learning. This project and the many others we do at Fairchild crosses all areas of early childhood learning including emotional, social and physical development, literacy, numeracy, the concept of problem solving, negotiation and collaboration with peers.

 

For more information about Fairchild and Fairchild’s approach to learning please visit www.fairchild.academy or contact +852 2803 2638 to arrange a visit or free trial class.