The Power of Emergent Curriculum: Stories From Early Childhood Settings
About the Book
This remarkable collection of stories from early childhood settings illustrates what is possible when using an emergent curriculum approach. The stories tackle unusual topics, such as assessing the need for program rules, addressing the impact of a hurricane on classroom design, observing the empathy of toddlers, exploring children’s ideas about sculpture, and appreciating a long-term, multiage project in an after-school program. Overall, what readers witness is a rise in the quality of practice that results when responding to emerging topics.
Responses to each chapter, written by educators whose interests and experiences relate to the topics addressed, add to the content and impact of these stories on the depth of learning that takes place when teachers and children engage in emergent curriculum. These experts include Elizabeth Jones, Margie Carter, Deb Curtis, Marian Marion, Laurie Kocher, Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw, Mary Benson McMullen, Carol Copple, Susan Fraser, Travis Wright, Carolyn Pope Edwards, and Lella Gandini.
These extraordinary stories will inspire early childhood educators to imagine new possibilities in curriculum and learning.
Carol Anne Wien is professor emerita and senior scholar in the faculty of education at York University, in Toronto, Canada. She is widely known for her work on emergent curriculum and pedagogical documentation, inspired by the Reggio Emilia experience. She is the author of The Power of Emergent Curriculum: Stories from Early Childhood Settings and several other books, editor of Emergent Curriculum in the Primary Classroom: Interpreting the Reggio Emilia Approach in Schools, and coauthor, with Karyn Callaghan and Jason Avery, of Documenting Children’s Meaning. She speaks frequently at conferences and workshops across Canada and the United States and tries constantly to build the arts into daily life.
Carol Anne Wien and her colleagues’ essays about their innovative, courageous, child-centered teaching practices—paired with commentaries from leading child care experts—make for insightful, provocative, and engaging reading. A gift to the field.
—Ben Mardell, Professor, Early Childhood Education, Lesley University
A beautifully written resource for educators to further interpret the art of teaching and the promise of learning. Carol Anne Wien’s fresh and illustrative voice offers insight into contemporary approaches and research, combining rich stories from the field as useful sources for reflection and inspiration.
—Margie Cooper, Co-Chair, North American Reggio Emilia Alliance (NAREA)
As provocateur and reflective guide, Carol Anne Wien takes us into a center’s arc of discovery as the teachers unpack their practices, learn to live with uncertainty, and turn problems into curriculum possibilities. Her stories provide a model for the professional growth that can come through teachers reflecting on their missteps along the way.
—John Nimmo, EdD, Affiliate Associate Professor, Family Studies, University of New Hampshire, and coauthor of Emergent Curriculum