“Our care of the child should be governed, not by
the desire to make him learn things, but by the
endeavor always to keep burning within him that
light which is called intelligence.”Maria Montesorri
Every child is drawn to what they need. For some children the time is ripe to gain independence, for others the urge is to carefully write letters and for still others the focus is on learning to make friends.
An emergent curriculum means that all of these challenges are presented to these heroes and available for practice at the right moment. In our environment, heroes choose from appropriate materials based on their own interests and readiness. When someone shows interest in writing, they are encouraged to do so using the chalkboard, dry erase markers, the move-able alphabet and waseca writing materials. When a hero shows concern over a torn piece of fabric of a doll, they have a lesson on sewing to repair the hole. Other heroes crave leadership opportunities. They come up with the games on the playground. They enjoy being timekeeper for the day and can be called upon to set examples of our community guardrails.
Sometimes these things don’t come as naturally and require a bit of experimentation. Heroes tests boundaries of what jokes get the most laughs at lunchtime, and navigate sharing materials during work time and tree space at recess. At neutral moments and during launch we reflect on these tests. Heroes decide what topics they don’t like hearing jokes about and how morning work time is where independent focus is valued over sharing. They decide that nature is for everyone and that outdoor spaces should be inclusive. The opportunity to speak up about things they care about abound. Guides continue to observe and provide whatever it may be that our heroes are most drawn to.