ERIC Number: ED448856
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Reference Count: N/A
Young Investigators: The Project Approach in the Early Years. Early Childhood Education Series.
Helm, Judy Harris; Katz, Lilian G.
Unlike teacher directed experiences that often do not provide children opportunities to take initiative and responsibility for the work undertaken, the project approach allows in-depth investigation of a topic worth learning more about. Projects are undertaken by a child, a small group of children within a class, or sometimes by the whole class, as a research effort deliberately focused on finding answers to questions about a topic posed by the children, the teacher, or the teacher working with the children. This book illustrates how all children, even those considered at risk, may benefit from the exploratory and child-initiated nature of project investigations in order to achieve mastery of basic literacy skills. The story of how projects emerge, develop, and culminate is told through a combination of teacher interviews and vivid accounts of classroom practice. Key features of the book are: an emphasis on how teachers solve the practical problems of doing projects with young children, including selecting topics, encouraging children to represent what they are learning, and involving parents; chapters written from practice and that include a plan of action that enables teachers to take their first steps toward following children's interests; photos of children engaged in projects; and a step-by-step guide for teachers to use in facilitating and documenting projects. The chapters of the book are as follows: (1) "Projects and Young Children," including benefits of projects in the early years, and opportunities and constraints of the early years; (2) "Getting Started," including selecting project topics, finding out what children know, and developing questions for investigation; (3) "Developing the Project," including preparing for investigation; (4) "Investigation," including field-site visits, and debriefing; (5) "Concluding the Project," including types of documentation and evaluating the project; (6) "Issues in Guiding Projects with Young Children," including curriculum requirements and standards, involving parents, and using the Project Approach with specific populations; and (7) "The Fire Truck Project." The book includes a project planning journal. Contains 71 references. (HTH)
Descriptors: Classroom Techniques, Curriculum Development, Documentation, Early Childhood Education, Elementary School Students, Experiential Learning, Parent Participation, Preschool Children, Student Projects, Teaching Methods
Teacher's College Press, P.O. Box 20, Williston, VT 05495-0020; Tel: 800-575-6566 (Toll-Free); Fax: 802-864-7626; Web site: http://www.teacherscollegepress.com ($18.95).
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Authoring Institution: N/A