This is another course offered by Dominion Learning Institute of Canada. It is my intention that taking this course will help you to learn about the Reggio Emilia Approach. Learning from different perspectives or through different lenses will help you deeply consider your own unique context. I was asked to write five courses that would serve as an introduction and as an inspiration for those teaching in the early years. You can find all the courses in this bundle. These courses were challenging to develop and only touch the surface of the possibilities for professional learning when you enter into dialogue with the Reggio Emilia Approach. I recommend that the courses be taken in sequence but the order that you take them in is up to you. Introduction to the Reggio Emilia Approach is the first course. The second course is Capacity and Competency in the Early Years. The third course is Inspiring Learning Environments. The fourth course is Documenting to Link Pedagogy and Curriculum. This course, The Process of the Projected Curriculum represents a culmination of the concepts, images, theory, history and information shared in the first four courses. It looks to help you make the connection between pedagogy and curriculum as you plan and program for children’s play-based learning experiences. I have been on a journey for many years trying to understand early childhood education theory and practice as it relates to curriculum. I offer these courses, not as the final and only word but as a way to engage in your own process of professional learning. I welcome feedback and comments from those who are engaging everyday with children. Is this process something that you can relate to?
Curriculum is the approach to education that is used in a learning environment. Specifically, it is the theoretical orientation and goals of the program in which domains of development are emphasized, such as the degree of structure in the program, the kinds of materials used, and the roles of the teacher and the learner. In a more traditional sense, curriculum is the plan of activities carried out in order to help children acquire pre-defined developmental or subject skills (Bennett, 2000). However, contemporary views such as those held by the educators of Reggio Emilia see curriculum in a broader sense, as process-related and co-constructive (Dahlberg et al., 1999). Curriculum cannot be separated from pedagogy.
While pedagogy is your approach to teaching, curriculum refers to the contents of your teaching. Curriculum answers the questions, “what to teach” and pedagogy answers the question “how to teach it”. The term programming incorporates both pedagogy and curriculum. Programming requires planning. If you think of planning purposefully in order to provoke occasions of discovery then you are co-constructing curriculum with children rather than imposing ideas.
In Reggio Emilia the term used to describe the emerging curriculum is progettazione which calls for the making of flexible plans for the further investigation of ideas and devising the means for carrying them out in collaboration with the children, parents, and, at times, the larger community (Fraser, 2000). The search for progettazione is more than just following the children’s lead (Fu et al., 2002). The teacher’s role is fundamental to the process.There is much to think about when reflecting on the process of curriculum. This course is an invitation to consider and if you respond to the invitation then it will become a provocation. The course will take about two to three hours to complete and is done at your own pace and time.