In conjunction with the Early Childhood and Family Studies Program, in the College of Education, the Kean University Child Care and Development Center demonstrates best early childhood practice inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to education. This approach recognizes that each child is a capable and competent learner and respects his or her strong potential and individual interests.
Teachers carefully observe and document childrenʼs activities while they are engaged in different play areas in the classroom. The teacher notes the childrenʼs interest and listens for cues as to how the next topic of study will unfold. Through the childrenʼs and teachersʼ explorations, projects of study may unfold. This dynamic approach to emergent curriculum offers many opportunities for children to become engaged in meaningful literacy, math, science and social studies activities. Using a variety of materials, the children create visual representations of their work through many mediums such as drawing, painting, sculpting, and building with blocks.
On-going documentation of the childrenʼs experience through words and pictures make “learning visible.” Reflecting and revisiting their work further provokes and stimulates thinking. Through these long-term and short- term projects, children, teachers, and parents become partners and researchers in the learning process.