Emergent Curriculum

Rosalie Waditaka

What is emergent curriculum?

Children learn through playing, being curious, and hands on exploration.

Have you ever noticed when a child gets a new toy? They play with the toy for a short period of time then they play with the box.

Emergent curriculum is planning a learning environment based on the interests of the child.

With this observation of the child's interest a curriculum can be planned on their play. For example they may be pretending it's a car. A topic on transportation can be used.


The Importance of Emergent Curriculum

Emergent Curriculum uses many models and methods. The project method would take the child's interest in the box and make a car or train. The thematic approach would take the transportation topic and expand on it to include different types such as land, air, water.

It would be based upon the interest of the child.

Emergent Curriculum is important because it benefits everybody in the child's environment.

Who benefits from Emergent Curriculum?

The child benefits the most. While they are having fun, being involved, using their creativity, they are LEARNING!


Educators benefit as well because they are teaching children things they are interested in. No more struggles to get children to do their work.


Parents benefit also as they become partners in their child's learning. With good communication parents can share what their child is interested in at home.


Quotes on Emergent Curriculum

Here is a quote from Wikipedia

"We are the stage directors; curriculum is teacher’s responsibility, not children’s. People who hear the words emergent curriculum may wrongly assume that everything simply emerges from the children. The children’s ideas are an important source of curriculum but only one of many possible sources that reflect the complex ecology of their lives." (Jones p. 5


Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Emergent Curriculum. WFI. 2013. Web. 16 June, 2013.

The above image is how emergent curriculum is planned. Teachers use a web format to plan activities for the child and their interest.