Project Approach

Project Approach


The Project Approach curriculum is used once a year during the second term at Kukai Kindergarten. The curriculum comes from the ways of thinking and principals by Dr. Sylvia Chard and Dr. Lilian Katz. Kukai Kindergaten believes that preschool students like to explore, investigate, research and enjoys learning about the world around them. Students work together to make sense of what they are exploring. The Project Approach curriculum will allow students to learn about the things that surrounds them that they are interested in, in an in-depth way. The Project Approach technique will enhance the students approach in questioning and finding out answers, which will be a good foundation for the students’ approach in learning for the rest of their lives. The students will also get to explore and use their basic knowledge in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. It will also enhance the students’ Executive Function and Growth Mindset.

Project Approach is a complete instructional approach which engages students in nonstop, cooperative exploration. The students suggest a topic of their interest and the teacher observe what the students are interested in and together with the student, suggests a topic. The students will then vote on the topic that they want to explore the most and the topic that gets the most vote, will be the topic they will be learning for throughout the Project Approach curriculum for the academic year. In order for the Project Approach Curriculum to be successful, the teachers will consider the possibilities of achieving the objective of the curriculum and the arrangement of experiences in relation to the topic.

The Project Approach curriculum’s topics will be narrower than The Thematic Approach topics used during the rest of the academic year. The topic will be something that relates to the student’s surroundings. Some of the examples of the topics chosen in the previous years are soap, butterfly, telephone, egg, cars and rice. Sometimes the students would suggest a topic that is broader such as pets. It will be difficult for some students to accept just the majority vote on just one topic, however the teacher will help talk to the students so that they will be able to agree on the democracy. Nevertheless, the minority votes are still important and the teachers will try to relate the topics that were not chosen during the curriculum if possible.

The Project Approach curriculum will help the students consider what the students in the class and themselves already know about the topic chosen. The students will get to show their past knowledge through many methods such as drawing, clay work, imitating gestures and movements and making 3D models. During the next step of the curriculum, the students will then collaboratively discuss what else they would like to know about the subject. The teacher will use the question “What would you like to know more about……?” The students will then be able to learn construct questions and explore, research and investigate to find the answers to their questions. They will collaborative explore and try to find out the answers and consider if their prior knowledge about the topic is correct or incorrect. At the same time, the students will learn that there many ways in which they can find out the answers to their questions. They will learn how to use the different methods correctly and appropriately.

They will also learn that the methods of finding out their answers are not only present at school and that parents and teachers may not have the answers to their all of their questions. The students will research from different sources of information through activities and through going out to explore outside of school and through inviting experts or lecturers to come into school. The students will use many methods in research, and when they find the information that they are looking for they will collect all the information and conclude to find out the appropriate answers to their questions.

During the process of exploring, investigating and collecting information, the students will showcase their knowledge and understanding through making replica models based on their interest. The method that they use will be what they feel comfortable in making, so that the students will be able to showcase their knowledge in an in-depth way. Some of the students will make 3D models, some may use water colours or collage, some groups may choose to write a song or a poem, make a pretend play corner in the classroom, imitate movements, write a story, make games etc. All of which will reflect their interests in what they have been learning. The students do not have to do all the activities mentioned but they may choose from what they feel comfortable in and they can choose all the methods themselves throughout the process.

Each day, the students will display what they have found, studying or work in progress in the classroom so that other people or students can come and see each student’s progress. This will happen every day or every two days, the teachers will set an appropriate time. During this time of observation, the students will explain about their work in progress, their thoughts and feelings and what they are expecting to happen next. The students will have a chance to explain what they are doing and how they are doing it. The students will learn from other students and they can help suggest and praise others as well.

Lastly, the students will collaborative come to conclude all their explorations and work in the final exhibition, in which they will invite teachers, school managers and staffs to come and see their work and share their knowledge about the topics they have been exploring during the Project Approach curriculum in the academic year. The students will be sharing their knowledge and experiences to parents at the exhibition. Parents will be able to see the students’ determinations, progress and development throughout the project and take pride in your child’s success and talents.

Written by: Mrs. Vivan Sarakitprija

Project Approach at Kukai Kindergarten

Project Approach
2019

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Project Approach
2018

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