20 Jul 2016
The practice of project-based learning is a Reggio Emilia teaching principle, which inspires education with our young students. Projects provide a rich inquiry-based approach to learning and operate on the notion that children learn best when they are fully engaged and focused. The children are instrumental in deciding the project topics. As educators observe and document the childrens’ interests, it becomes clear which topics would serve well to investigate. What is important within the project is that the learning is child-led, rather than teacher-driven. This ensures that a project-based way to learning is meaningful and authentic.
Last term at Ruyton Early Learning the children participated in a variety of projects. Both Kindergarten groups worked collaboratively on their City Project to complete an amazingly detailed city sculpture. In Co-Ed Pre Prep a project about a journey through space was explored. The children created solar systems, alien pictures, their own UFOs, set off some balloon rockets and used boxes to build an alien city. They learnt about space in their French class, with Madame Halliday teaching them the words for moon and stars. The completion of the project was celebrated with an alien themed morning tea.
The Girls’ Pre Prep are continuing with the Peace Project. This project was initiated by discussions around two books, Little Peace by Barbara Kerley and The Peace Book by Todd Parr. Both books offer very simple but profound ideas about what peace is, through photographs of people around the world and simple phrases. The children brainstormed their thoughts about peace and this documentation is on display in the classroom.
As the children engaged in the classroom projects they used everyday experiences and discoveries to weave magic into their learning. The projects provided opportunities for the children to connect and collaborate with their peers and educators, to become co-researchers in the learning process. We look forward to seeing what other marvellous projects will emerge this term.
Ms Teresa Wojcik
Acting Director of Early Learning
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