Understanding Emergent Curriculum

Programme Introduction

It can be all too easy to fall into the practice of planning predictable curriculum themes year after year. However, despite the learning opportunities that seasonal and celebration themes can present, they may not interest all children and can inhibit children from following their own natural learning interests. Repeated themes can also become monotonous for Educators where it may be difficult to feel enthused and excited by a particular topic, if repeated on a continuous basis.

Emergent curriculum is a way of planning curriculum that focuses on being responsive to children's interests to create meaningful learning experiences. It can be used with any age group from babies to pre-school children. Emergent curriculum is based on the idea that children have a voice in their own learning choices and that children learn best when curriculum experiences represent their interests, strengths, needs, and lived experiences. 

This continuining professional development programme by Mosaic Early Education, will enable the educator to understand what emergent curriculum is and how to implement this pedagogical strategy when working with babies, toddlers and pre-school children.  Components include:

1. The background to emergent curriculum and how does it link to curriculum and quality frameworks?

2. What is emergent curriculum, what it is and what it isn’t!

3. What do I need to think about when implementing an emergent curriculum?

4. Planning an emergent curriculum for babies, toddlers and pre-school children

5. The role of the skilled early childhood educator.

* The resource documents section contains 7 printable handouts including sample inquiry-based activities, planning templates, a sample curriculum statement  and further information to support the programme content.


Programme Content

  • This component will give you a background of emergent curriculum and how it compliments curriculum and quality frameworks and prepare you for how this is linked to criteria for quality inspections
  • A practical activity includes a review of a Curriculum Statement using a sample template from the resources section.
  • Handout - sample curriculum statement
  • Identifies the key characteristics and sources of emergent curriculum
  • Common myths and misconceptions
  • A practical activity on the importance of 'local context' supports this component.
  • Handout: Emergent Curriculum
  • The cornerstones of emergent curriculum and how to implement these - includes a suppoting handout
  • handouts: 3 sample inquiry-based activities are provided in the resource section to support understanding of this component.
  • Planning emergent curriculum is viewed from the perspective of both 0-3's and pre-school children
  • Practical tips and reminders for planning for both age groups are highlighted
  • Handouts: 2 downloadable planning templates are included in the resources section.
  • The essential characteristics of a skilled educator are highlighted in this component.
Key Learning Outcomes

1. To develop and understanding of emergent curriculum- what it is and what it is not

2. To be aware of how the princples of emergent curriculum is linked to curriculum and quality frameworks

3. To understand the key components of emergent curriculum and to assess the presence of these components in current practice  

4. To implement a practical framework for planning for emergent skills and interests for babies, toddlers and young children

5. To recognise and develop the key role of the educator in providing inquiry based learning for young children.  

2.5 Hours


Presentation with video/audio

Easy to follow components

Downloadable reference documents

Test multiple choice questions

Certificate of Completion

Notes for the course

You may also like

Strength-based Writing
The Strength-based Approach is a meaningful and real style of writing about children in a way that starts with what they can do. A strength-based approach is not about describing a child’s learning and development in a positive light and neglecting to identify areas for further development or areas of concern. Instead it starts with where the child is now, not with what is absent, and highlights where the child can go with additional support. This makes it a vital pedagogical skill for early childhood educators to practice and develop which can be used for transition reports, learning stories or snapshot reviews. The Strength Based Writing programme consists of 4 short components that support Educators to focus on your writing techniques when compiling Learning Stories, Transition Reports or Snapshot Reviews.   *PLEASE READ YOUR 'NOTES FOR THE COURSE' BEFORE STARTING YOUR PROGRAMME*

02 Hours

Enabling Transition
The Enabling Transition programme will provide the early childhood educator with practical, jargon free guidance on how to compile transition reports that are unique to each child. The programme consists of 4 short components for you to digest, discuss with colleagues and use to inform your practice. If you are a parent, looking to understand a little more about preparing your child for primary school, this programme will also provide you with lots of useful information. 1. The Importance of Positive Transition from pre-school to primary school 2. A Learning Partnership – the child, parents, previous and new educator 3. Good Pedagogy Practice to enable smooth transitions 4. Compiling Transition Reports (practical report writing). Practical supporting handouts are available  for download and print in the users Reference Document section.  *PLEASE READ YOUR 'NOTES FOR THE COURSE' BEFORE STARTING YOUR PROGRAMME*

02 Hours

Creating Learning Stories
From the very first time I discovered the work of Dr Margaret Carr and the Learning Story Approach – I have loved it and advocated for it as the most effective means of documenting the assessment of young children’s learning and development. I admire the way a child’s strengths are highlighted in a way that is very personal to the child – regardless of their abilities or stage of development. A learning story is an engaging story of a child’s achievements, abilities, interests and viewpoint as an active learner. Learning Stories can focus on everything from a baby noticing himself in a mirror for the first time to a pre-school child creating a model from junk materials or helping a friend. I like to think of learning stories in this way – an assessment report or developmental checklist show you a black and white snapshot of the child, cold and frozen in time. However, learning stories are vibrant, engaging, funny, full colour mini-movies that parents can keep forever.  They give a rounded, holistic view of who the child is as an individual and as a learner. This is, after all, what early childhood education is all about! ‘Creating Learning Stories’ will provide Educators with practical guidance on this wonderful pedagogical technique for early childhood education. The programme is presented in 5 short components - each one building on the learning from the one before and packed with practical examples. Participants will discover how to structure, compile, and use learning stories as a meaningful assessment tool, to engage parents and to showcase children’s individual strengths, interests and needs.  Avril  *PLEASE READ YOUR 'NOTES FOR THE COURSE' BEFORE STARTING YOUR PROGRAMME*

03 Hours