The Creative Curriculum
Creative curriculum I. Introduction: Creative curriculum A. ) Description of what is Creative Curriculum II. Theories and research behind Creative Curriculum A. ) Maslow B. ) Erikson C. ) Piaget D. ) Smilansky E. ) Vygotsky F. ) Gardner III. How children learn and develop A. ) Areas of development 1. ) Social/Emotional 2. ) Physical 3. ) Cognitive 4. ) Language B. ) Individual differences IIII. The learning environment A. ) Setting and maintaining the classroom B. ) Establishing a structure for each day C. Creating a classroom community V. What the children learn A. ) Literacy (Reading) B. ) Math C. ) Science (Discovery) D. ) The Arts (Art, Dance, Dramatic play, Music) VI. Teacher’s role VII. Family’s role VIII. Conclusion Creative Curriculum The Creative Curriculum for preschool is a blueprint for planning and implementing a developmentally appropriate program. In this paper, I will briefly discuss the five components of the Creative Curriculum framework, along with the philosophies, theories, and research behind its foundation.
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In our text, it tells us that in the late 1920, the focus was on physical and intellectual development, and the early education programs were based on the works of Froebel, Montessori, and McMillan. As education progressed towards the late 1940, the emphasis was on physical, social, and emotional growth (Eliason, et al. , 2008). From the beginning, the creative curriculum has been based on the theories and research that inform decision making in the early childhood field. The findings include that of Piaget, Maslow, Erikson, Vygotsky, Smilansky, and Gardner. (Colker)
In response to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the first priority of the creative curriculum is to meet the basic needs of children. Inside the classroom, the creative curriculum teacher creates an atmosphere in which children are safe, feel emotionally secure, and have a sense of belonging. It describes activities and teaching strategies that are challenging but are within the children’s reach. It also suggests giving children choices and a role in determining how they will learn. Erik Erickson had a theory that consists of a sequence of issues that need to be resolved for healthy development to occur.
One of those issues is trust versus mistrust . In a creative curriculum classroom, teachers establish a reliable safe atmosphere that reinforces the trust children learn at home and helps children who mistrust because of difficult experiences. Based on Erikson’s issue of autonomy versus shame and doubt, the creative curriculum, teacher take care to help children become autonomous by providing structure while allowing the children to regulate their own behavior. The issue of initiative versus guilt, guided the creative curriculum to place a high priority on creating an 3 Creative curriculum
Environment within the classroom that encourages the children to experiment, explore, and pursue their own interest. Using what they have learned from Piaget, the creative curriculum structures the environment and activities based on children’s cognitive development. It guides the teachers to invite the children into a world of learning that they can manage. Creative curriculum teachers, give children many opportunities to work with concrete objects and to discover the logic of how these objects behave. (Bradekamp) Sara Smilansky’s research focuses on how children learn through play and the relationship of play to future academic success.
The creative curriculum shows teachers how to create an environment that allows for functional play experiences, it also shows teachers how to validate and reinforce children’s constructive play. High priority is placed on social dramatic play. The curriculum shows teachers how to interact with children to expand and learn from their socioeconomic play. Creative curriculum suggests outdoor games with rules and even encourages children to make up their own rules for games. The creative curriculum is based on Vygotsky’s theories that social interaction is the key to children’s learning.
The creative curriculum classroom is a community. In the creative curriculum classroom, instruction is based on observing and developing what the children say and do. Based on Vygotsky’s term zone of proximal development (ZPD), creative curriculum teachers provide learning experiences that are challenging enough to move children to a higher level of learning, not so challenging as to frustrate them. Creative curriculum teachers facilitate growth and development of all children in the class and create a classroom environment in which their own effectiveness can be affirmed. (Colker)
The creative curriculum applies Gardner’s theory by showing teachers how to provide opportunities for each child to pursuer his or her special talents and to demonstrate areas of strength. In Creative curriculum keeping with Gardner’s notion of interpersonal and intra personal intelligences, the curriculum gives learning social skills the same level of importance as learning content. It includes plenty of physical activity and choices to explore nature, along with traditional academics. The first component of the creative curriculum is how children develop and learn. The preschool years are a special time in the life of a young child.
They gain independence, self-control, learn to take initiative, and assert themselves in socially acceptable ways. At the same time, they become keen observers of their world and experiment with their surroundings to find out what happens when they interact with other people. Child development may be broken up into five areas, social-emotional, physical, cognitive, and also language. The areas are divided for clarity but are closely related and often overlap. Social-emotional development during the preschool years is about socialization, which is the process by which children learn the values and the behaviors accepted by society.
It is also about becoming a competent and confident person. The creative curriculum’s first three goals associated with social-emotional development, are achieving a sense of self, taking responsibility for self and others, and behaving in a pro- social way. Physical development includes children’s gross and fine motor skills. Physical development is sometimes taken for granted in the early childhood classroom because it is often assumed that it happens automatically. Not only is this assumption untrue, but teachers need to remember that physical development is just as important to learning as every other area of development.
Physical education in every stage support children’s academic achievement, general heath, self-esteem, stress management, and social development. Cognitive development refers to the mind and how it works. It involves how children think, how they see the world, and how they use what they have learned. The three main goals that creative Creative curriculum curriculum have set for cognitive development are; learning, and problem solving, thinking logically, representing, and thinking symbolically. Preschoolers use their imagination and are creative in their thinking.
Language development includes understanding and communicating through words that are spoken and written. By the time, children reach preschool, their ability to communicate thoughts and feelings through spoken language takes on a new importance. Language becomes the principal tool for establishing and maintaining relationships with other children as well as adults. The two goals the creative curriculum has set for language development are for listening–speaking, reading and writing. Early experiences with writing build confidence in children’s belief that they can write (Eliason et al. 2008). An aspect of knowing the children you teach is learning what makes each child unique. Your understanding of individual differences will help you respond to each child in ways that make every child feel comfortable and ready to learn. The most obvious difference is gender. Children also have different temperaments, interest, learning styles, and life experiences. Their cultural backgrounds also influence them strongly. Some children have special needs or are learning english as their second language.
The creative curriculum suggests that teachers who are aware of the interest of their children has a basis for building a relationship to motivate each child to learn. The second component is the learning environment. This includes setting up and maintaining the classroom, establishing a structure for each day, and creating a classroom community. In the creative curriculum, the learning environment meets children’s developmental needs. It makes all children, including those who are considered as special needs feel safe and comfortable, and they feel like they belong.
As a result, they are guided into becoming independent and confident learners. When setting up and maintaining a classroom, physical space of the classroom area is organized Creative curriculum into interest areas. Interest areas offer multiple opportunities for children to explore, discover, and grow. The arrangement of furniture and the materials, both involve children not only in learning but also in caring for the classroom and what is in it. Such an environment can support the teacher’s goals for the children and allow the teachers freedom to observe and interact with the children in positive ways.
Establishing a structure for each day includes daily routines and a schedule that creates a sense of order in the creative curriculum . Children will know what to expect, and they understand what is expected of them. With the assurance that their environment is predictable and familiar, they can settle into learning and function as part of a group. Order around them creates a sense of order inside them. Creating a classroom community is simply the social-emotional environment of the classroom. Teachers relate to children in positive ways and help them do the same with one another.
The positive social climate helps children feel good about school and learn to the best of their ability. (Colker) The third component of the framework is what preschool children learn. Experts have developed standards defining what children should know and be able to do by certain grade levels. The content children learn in the creative curriculum is guided by these standards. The creative curriculum explains how to teach content in ways that respect the developmental stages of children. The content is divided into learning areas.
The areas are literary, mathematics, science (discovery), the arts (dance, music, dramatic-play, drawing, painting, and more. ) literacy (vocabulary, language, phonological awareness, letters, words print, comprehension, books, and many other texts. Creative curriculum teachers thoughtfully and purposefully interact with children and plan experiences that support emerging literacy. Print rich environments that allow children to practice literacy skills in reality experiments, combined with explicit teaching of key concepts, is the foundation of literacy y learning in preschool.
As children’s excitement about their ability to read and write increases, teachers create multiple opportunities for continued literacy learning. Creative curriculum Mathematics includes numbers, patterns, relationships, geometry, measurements, data collection, and representation. The creative curriculum follows the national standards in mathematics known as the NCTM, which describes what children should learn in preschool related to math. In the creative curriculum, math content is presented in ways that preschool children learn. Science, also known as discovery, is more than isolated facts.
Scientific facts are important, but how they are put together into meaningful ideas is more significant. Preschool children learn science by exploring the world around them. When you provide an environment with many materials children will, tryout things to see how they work, experiment, manipulate, and become concern and ask questions. In a good science program for early childhood:” It builds on children’s prior experiences, backgrounds, and early theories. It draws on children’s curiosity and encourages children to pursue their own questions and develop their own ideas.
It engages children in in-depth exploration of a topic over time in a carefully prepared environment. It encourages children to reflect on, represent, and document their experiences and share and discuss their ideas with others. It is embedded in children’s daily work and play and is integrated with other domains. It provides access to science experiences for all children. ” (p. 14, Eliason). The arts, according to the National standards for arts education, include four components. It includes dance, music, dramatic play, and visual arts. Art is designing, creating, and exploring.
Preschool children like to get their hands into materials and to move their bodies. Preschool teachers can expose children through a wide variety of experiences in the arts throughout the day. In a creative curriculum classroom, the arts are addressed throughout the day. The fourth component of the creative curriculum framework is the teacher’s role. The creative curriculum describes how teachers can put together knowledge of children’s development with the Creative curriculum content they want to teach. It teaches the teacher to be engaged in an ongoing cycle of observing, guiding learning, and assessing children’s progress.
During this cycle, teachers interact with the children continuously and make decisions about when and how to respond to meet individual and group needs. The last component of the curriculum is the family’s role. Home and school are a young child’s most important worlds. Children must bridge these two worlds everyday. If home and school are connected in positive and respectful ways, children feel secure. The creative curriculum encourages teachers to focus on developing a relationship with every family, so they can work together to support children’s healthy development and learning.
The Creative Curriculum for preschool is a blueprint for planning and implementing a developmentally appropriate program. Together the five components of the creative curriculum framework will help to be effective in providing all children in the classroom with learning experiences that will promote their development. From years of experience, this curriculum has proven to be beneficial and effective in the preschool classroom. It provides detailed guidelines for dedicated teachers to use as an aide in laying a positive, academic rich future for our leaders of tomorrow. Creative curriculum REFERENCES Bredekamp, S. , & Copple, C. (1997).
Developmentally Appropriate Practice in early childhood programs. Washington, D. C. : National Association for the Education of Young Children. Colker, L. , Dodge, D. , Heroman, C. , (2002). Creative Curriculum for preschool 4the edition, Washington. Teaching Strategies INC. Eliason, C. F. , Jenkins, L. (2008). A practical guide to early childhood curriculum (8th edition). New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (2001). Principles and standards for school mathematics. Reston, VA:Author. National Research Council. (1996). National Science Education Standards. Washington, DC:National Academy Press