Shifting from a Rules-Based Culture to a Negotiated One in Emergent Curriculum

Keywords: early childhood education, emergent curriculum, shifting practice, reflective practice, pedagogical documentation


Written in the voice of the first author, this article examines how two early childhood educators who practice emergent curriculum shifted from following a rules-based culture in their classroom to a more negotiated one. The voices of the child and educator research participants are excerpts from a larger qualitative study involving five educators who participated in interviews focused on their perceptions of how their understanding of emergent curriculum evolved over time. Using self-selected examples of pedagogical documentation as a catalyst for discussion, the participants reflected on how their experiences with mentors, children, and program administrators influenced their shifts in practice.

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