Australian Developmental Curriculum: Play and project based learning
KEY BELIEFS AND PRINCIPLES
The play and project based philosophy places the child at the centre of curriculum planning and expectations. Childhood is a unique stage of the human lifecycle, and children, particularly in the early childhood years (birth to 8 years), reflect unique biological characteristics that have implications for how they learn:
each child has his/her own rate of development and influences from home and society that impact on learning
not all children will be able to learn the same thing at the same time in the same way
development, while generally sequential, varies between children of the same chronological age
With this in mind, teachers still plan and work towards objectives and expectations, but a predetermined outcome is not set.
The play and project based learning philosophy recognises that family, community and society are integral to children's understandings and learning. In order for meaningful learning to take place, teachers plan experiences that reflect children's lives and present these in ways that reflect the child's stage of development.
Teachers carefully create a learning environment that takes into consideration the fact that not all children will be interested, or able to engage in the same topic or project. Teachers provide many opportunities for children to learn through their own interests as well as some introduced by the teacher.
In addition to skills and understandings, the heavy influence of the five developmental domains (Emotional, or affective; Social; Cognitive [thinking]; Language; Physical) is taken into account when planning teaching and learning experiences.
(Information taken from: Walker, K. (2007). Play Matters. Engaging Children in Learning: The Australian Developmental Curriculum. A play and project based philosophy. Camberwell, Victoria: ACER Press.)