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Integration Paper

Brief Recap
The Emergent Curriculum Instructional Design (ECID) Model is geared toward developing
thematic units using emergent curriculum in the early childhood classroom, specifically 3-5
year olds. By incorporating emergent curriculum into the classroom, early childhood
educators include the interests of children into thematic units to more thoroughly engage
their learners. Throughout this model Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) and the
Early Childhood Environmental Rating ScaleRevised (ECERS-R) have been used as
standards in the field of early childhood education.

The ECID model is based on social constructivism and the Reggio Emilia Approach.
Dewey, Piaget, Vygotsky, and Bruner founded social constructivist theory, emphasizing that
learners are building or constructing their knowledge through socially experiencing the world
around them. The Reggio Emilia Approach is a social constructivist approach that notes
educators, learners, and the environment all have important roles in teaching at the early
childhood level. Educators are facilitators, learners are explorers who direct their learning,
and the environment provides opportunities for exploration and inquiry. Emergent
curriculum develops as learners explore and direct their learning with their own interests.

ECID Model Graphic & Brief Summary of Steps

Discover

Analyze

Create

Align &
Design

Devise

Implement

Evaluate

Discover the current interests of children for


which you are designing the thematic unit.

Analyze children according to developmental


progress using DAP.

Create learning objectives based on DAP that


are both challenging and achievable.

Align objectives with the chosen topic of


interest, & design learning experiences for the
thematic unit.

Devise an environment that supports the


chosen topic of interest and learning
experiences designed.

Implement thematic unit in the classroom.

Evaluate the thematic unit.

Audience & Objectives


Audience. The intended audience for this project was a 3-4 year-old classroom at this time
of the year where it had already snowed and children were excitedly talking about it. At this
time, the children have already settled into their daily routine and are comfortable with the
rules in the classroom setting.
Objectives. The overall objective for the ECID model was to create a thematic unit based
on the interest of children using emergent curriculum. The specific learning objectives for
the thematic unit are listed in the model steps below.

The ECID Model in Use


Discover
The Discover stage of the model was very difficult to perform due to not being actively
involved in classroom teaching. However, this stage is key to the instructional design model,
and will be easy to conduct in the classroom setting. By performing this stage in the
classroom students will be more engaged in their learning process because they are interested
in the topic of the thematic unit. In order to move forward with the project, I borrowed
from the first snow in Denver that my nephew (age 3) and niece (age 2) excitedly called to
tell me about. I titled the thematic unit Wonderful Winter!

Analyze
Again this step is difficult due to not being in the classroom, but still very important when in
the classroom. In order to implement this stage without a set group of learners in mind, I
improvised and remembered where 3-4 year olds would be developmentally at this time of
the year. As I began to analyze with DAP, I realized that I did not refer to the book much.
I did analyze the children developmentally, but having used DAP for a decade I did not need
to look at the book much. Analyzing with DAP in hand would be most useful to
newcomers in the field of early childhood education.

Create
After analyzing the children according to DAP, the Create stage was quite simple. I chose
the five most appropriate objectives:

Enhance language arts and reading skills by providing story times, rhymes/songs,
opportunities for retelling of stories, and by developing awareness that print conveys
a message.

Further develop fine motor skills with scissor play, sculpting, and threading or
sewing.

Provide opportunities to develop gross motor skills inside with music and
movement.

Offer scientific play for children to investigate using by offering hands-on,


experiential activities.

Encourage social growth through cooperation and taking turns.

Align & Design


Aligning the objectives outlined in the create stage with developmentally appropriate
activities was an intuitive process. I designed 10 early childhood lessons in the Align &
Design stage that created a two-week thematic unit with 5 hours of actual instruction time
with the teacher in the classroom.

Devise
Devising a plan for the environment with ECERS-R was also an intuitive process. Since
there are many requirements within ECERS-R, I found that having the book in hand was
very helpful although not always necessary.

Implement
The thematic unit created was not implemented due to not being in the classroom.

Evaluate
Since the thematic unit was not implemented, this evaluation did not occur. It is planned for
within the thematic unit as the final lesson, however.

Revised ECID Model Graphic

Evaluate runs throughout the model to


indicate the summative evaluation that is
inherent throughout the entire process.

Ev

alu

ate

E va l u

Discover

Discover the current interests of children for


which you are designing the thematic unit.

te

Analyze

Analyze children according to developmental


progress using DAP.

Ev

alu

ate

E va l u

Create

Create learning objectives based on DAP that


are both challenging and achievable.

te

Align &
Design

Align objectives with the chosen topic of


interest, & design learning experiences for the
thematic unit.

Ev

alu

E va l u

te

ate

Devise

Devise an environment that supports the


chosen topic of interest and learning
experiences designed.

Implement
Implement thematic unit in the classroom.

Evaluate

Evaluate the thematic unit.

Conclusion
Overall, using the ECID model was a smooth process. There were only three hiccups
noticed throughout the project; 1) the model is best used while actually teaching in the
classroom for the Discover and Analyze stages, 2) DAP will most likely be referred to more
by new educators or those unfamiliar with it, and 3) formative evaluation is inherent
throughout the model. The revised model above reflects the change with evaluation running
throughout. Using DAP is still important during the Analyze stage, and the Discover and
Analyze stages are key to the project and remain.