- Little Investigators
What is Project Approach?
Children have strong disposition to explore and discover. The project approach builds on curiosity, enabling children to interact, question, connect, problem solved, communicate, reflect and more.
The project approach refers to a set of teaching strategies that enable teachers to guide students through in-depth studies of real-world topics. By definition, it's an in-depth investigation of a real-world topic were the other students’ attention and effort.
Situated within a constructive is based theoretical framework, the project approach rest on the following beliefs:
All children come to school with a quest to understand their experiences; all children want to learn
School is life, and teachers and students should experience their time in school as real life rather than seeing two separate and unrelated spheres
Students construct their own knowledge but also need teachers to facilitate and guide this process
Students have diverse strengths, weaknesses, interest, and backgrounds, and capitalizing on these differences enable students to learn from each other and grow as individuals
Students learn best when they have a positive self-esteem and sense of purpose
Preschoolers learn through a mixture of firsthand observation, hands on experiences, systematic instruction, and personal reflection
Teaching and learning are interactive processes
Social and emotional skills are as important as academic skills and knowledge
Classrooms are flexible learning spaces that support and adapt to students needs
The project approach is a specific set of strategies that allows the children to investigate a real-world topic on a high level by initiating, investigating an following through on their interest. Some examples of real-world topics that the kids can learn are hats, apples, pumpkins, puppets common birds, gardening.
In the 1st phase the kids choose a topic that we will explore. Second phase the kids explore and investigate. They do research and observe. We have experts come in to share what they know about the topic. During project where we are able to incorporate all of our learning expectations: literacy, numeracy, science, social studies - all of these elements can seamlessly be woven into the project. In phase 3 the kids have the opportunity to share what they've learned. It is an opportunity for them to solidify their understanding and explain it to others. The level of excitement kids have when they get to share what they've learned is phenomenal. Is spectacular to see them doing this type of work period.
Project Approach inspires, connects, and empowers students by:
connecting students to their local and global communities – and providing them with real-world experiences beyond the classroom;
fostering critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity;
providing opportunities to integrate technologies into the classroom—and to use technologies as tools for achieving specific purposes instead of as ends in themselves;
providing students with opportunities to apply the skills they acquire through systematic instruction;
building on the individual needs, interests, and strengths of all students—and allowing students to work, where appropriate, at their own pace;
giving students a sense of purpose and fostering self-esteem;
providing opportunities for service learning and enhancing a sense of social justice and responsibility;
improving research skills by helping students not only to use print and electronic resources but also field work, surveys, interviews, consultations with experts, and firsthand observations and experiences;
honing literacy and communication skills by enabling students to use a variety of media to share the process and product of their project work with authentic audiences;
integrating content knowledge and skills from a variety of disciplines, so that students come to see and make cross-curricular connections;
enhancing the multicultural literacy of students by giving them opportunities to learn about and collaborate with people from other cultures.
Our preschool curriculum uses the project approach to teach our students in a way that relevant and meaningful to them. It is such a pleasure to watch their curiosity foster into a learning journey they helped guide.