Weikart Talk 2
The essence of Dr. Weikart’s research project is the coherence of teaching and curriculum theory together with the practice to develop the child’s abilities in active learning. This approach is accompanied by the partnership between teachers, researchers, administrators and parents.
The High/Scope approach is a cognitively-oriented curriculum, based on Jean Piaget’s child development theory, which highlights a child’s active learning through experience and handling materials. It also reflects another psychologist’s theory that of Vygotsky, on his view of scaffolding/mentoring and adult intervention in improving a child’s learning process.
A peek to the program:
a) Wheel of Learning- The child is the centre of the wheel and 58 key experiences for a child’s self-initiated activity.
b) The 4 outer sections of the wheel, symbolizing a network of support for the child:
– Assessment of children, adult team roles, planning
– Learning experience, including materials, presentation, areas of activity
– Daily routine, plan-do-review-reflection cycle, small/large group times
– Adult-child interaction
c) Materials: Visual signposts (drawings of equipment and photos or tools and toys), with the objective of increasing a child’s autonomy and self-confidence.
The plan-do-review-reflection cycle of daily lesson had been adapted into the classroom in the school I was teaching in London. Children were informed about the learning objective for the day, their feedback of what they wanted to learn was recorded and their reflection at the end of the lessons was again written. They were also encouraged to ask and rectify learning problems. However, this teaching style is only applicable for children 5/6 years old onwards. Hiccups also occurred as each individual learns at a different pace and has different interest at different time. But this plan does give a structure for the child to follow each day.
For further details about High/Scope course, visit the UK website at www.high-scope.org.uk.
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