ERIC Number: ED439853
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
Dynamic Aims: The Use of Long-Term Projects in Early Childhood Classrooms in Light of Dewey's Educational Philosophy.
Glassman, Michael; Whaley, Kimberlee
Early Childhood Research & Practice, v2 n1 Spr 2000
This paper explores the use of the long-term project as an educational tool in early childhood classrooms. In particular, it focuses on the way in which long-term projects can reflect John Dewey's notion of the "dynamic aim" as a primary force in education. In "Democracy and Education," Dewey suggests that when teaching is dominated by specific goals, the educational process becomes static, and there is an unnatural separation between the activity the student engages in to reach the goal and the goal itself. Thus, the activity has no educational purpose beyond reaching this goal and does not teach the student how to learn beyond this very specific situation. Dewey suggests instead that education be based on a series of dynamic aims. The aims of the activity emerge from the activity itself, and they serve only as temporary beacons for the activity. As soon as an aim is achieved, that achievement creates activity leading to another aim. Long-term projects can be perfect vehicles for this type of approach to education. In particular, the paper focuses on the Reggio Emilia approach to long-term projects, which includes some important attributes such as documentation and "progettazione" (i.e., a discussion of the possible directions that the project might take based on observations of the children and past experience). The paper concludes with examples of long-term projects partially based on the Reggio Emilia approach from two American classrooms--one infant/toddler and one preschool. (Author/LPP)
Descriptors: Active Learning, Discovery Learning, Educational Objectives, Educational Philosophy, Experiential Learning, Preschool Education, Reggio Emilia Approach, Student Centered Curriculum, Student Projects, Teacher Role, Teaching Methods, Young Children
For full text: http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v2n1/print/glassman.html.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A