In this opening chapter, we outline the aims and benefits of includ- ing project work in the curriculum during the toddler and pre- school through the elementary school years. Some of the major aspects of the project approach are highlighted as we begin with a brief look at project work in progress in an early childhood classroom: Several kindergarten children are collaborating on a painting depicting what they have learned about various parts of their school bus. Their teacher is helping them label the steering wheel, horn, gearshift, the dash- board, ignition, accelerator, hand brake, brake pedal, turn indicators, windshield wipers, and the inside and outside rearview mirrors. Another small group in the class is working on felt-tip pen drawings of parts of the motor, indicating where they believe the oil and water are put into it. The children make a diagram representing their understanding of how fuel flows from the gas tank to the motor and how the exhaust makes its way through the tailpipe. As they work, they correct each other and make suggestions about what goes where and what details to include. A third small group is working with their teacher to prepare a documen- tation of their investigation of the bus. Their documentation will include drawings and paintings with labels and descriptions that will enable oth- ers to grasp their findings. The displays in the documentation will show the different kinds of lights inside and outside of the bus and which lights ONE Introduction to the Project Approach
Previous Page Next Page