To introduce this section, we would like to quote from the National Curriculum Framework: 2005. ’Learning for the sake of being examined in a mechanical manner takes away the joy of being young, and delinks knowledge from everyday experience’.
For the curriculum to serve its noble purpose, it must become a facilitator of curiosity and enthusiasm. After capturing a child’s attention it must accelerate knowledge gaining. It should provide the child with questions to ask, with pursuits to follow and act as an interface between individual experience and theoretical assimilation. By doing so, such a curriculum will then breathe new life into the educational process. Children will then understand the importance of arranging and rearranging concepts so as to gain a stronger grasp on studied matter…and reject information that was memorised without any conceivable use in mind.
Let us now offer you a detailed insight of the curriculum.
The early childhood curriculum at Universal is designed to satisfy the needs, interests and abilities of the young child as well as the demands of the 21st century. Our curriculum draws inspiration from the theory of constructivism, the Reggio Approach Learning and the theory of multiple intelligences.
The child at Universal also learns about the other 3 R’s – responsibility, respect and the importance of relationships, through the life skills programme specially integrated into the curriculum.
THE PROJECT APPROACH
The Project Approach as developed by Lillian Katz and Sylvia Chard is one of the unique aspects of education at our institute. Through this approach the child and the teacher become co-investigators as they embark upon the study of a topic of significance. Field trips, interviewing resource persons, reading books, watching audio-visual content and most importantly documentation of the learning process, form parts of the process leading to the culmination of the topic. In this approach, our objective is that young children learn critical thinking and problem solving, important aspects of ’the learning to learn’ phenomenon.
Young children are by nature curious, active learners who learn best from direct firsthand experience. With the help and support of their co-learner, the teacher, they are able to construct meaning and reflect on their own learning. Such an approach prepares the ground for the young child to develop into an independent learner; such an approach also demonstrates the need for critical thinking and problem-solving throughout the day.
Play is at the centre of our early childhood curriculum as research has shown time and again the benefits of play for young children. Play not only clarifies concepts, facilitates social development and provides emotional relief but also provides sheer joy to the young learner!
RESPECT FOR DIVERSITY
Our curriculum is socially and culturally appropriate. We respect diversity and impress upon the young child an awareness and appreciation of cultures other than one’s own through the celebration of festivals.
THE WHOLE CHILD
Our curriculum lays emphasis on developing all the aspects of the child: cognitive, physical, social and emotional. We resonate with the theory of Multiple Intelligences that focuses on the development of the whole child.
Linguistic: The capacity to use words effectively, whether orally (e.g., as a storyteller) or in writing (e.g., as a poet)
Logical-mathematical: The capacity to use numbers effectively (e.g., as a mathematician, tax accountant, or statistician) and to reason well (e.g., as a scientist, computer programmer, or logician).
Spatial: The ability to perceive the visual-spatial world accurately (e.g., as a hunter, scout, or guide) and to perform transformations upon those perceptions (e.g., as an interior decorator, architect, artist, or inventor).
Bodily-kinesthetic: Expertise in using one’s whole body to express ideas and feelings (e.g., as an actor, a mime, an athlete, or a dancer) and facility in using one’s hands to produce or transform things (e.g., as a craftsperson, sculptor, mechanic, or surgeon).
Musical: The capacity to perceive (e.g., as a music aficionado), discriminate (e.g., as a music critic), transform (e.g., as a composer), and express (e.g., as a performer) musical forms.
Interpersonal: The ability to perceive and make distinctions in the moods, intentions, motivations, and feelings of other people.
Intrapersonal: Self-knowledge and the ability to act adaptively on the basis of that knowledge.
Naturalistic: Expertise in the recognition and classification of the numerous speciesflora and faunaan individual’s environment and the capacity to discriminate among inanimate objects such as cars, sneakers, and CD covers.