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Distinction between thematic and project approach Sylvia Chard Melbourne 200

Often see themes repeated year after year

Thematic approach Approach


For project work a fresh brainstorm session occurs each time. The teacher tells a personal story about the topic and invites the children to do the same Project work does not end but becomes embedded in the curriculum and shared with new children as they arrive

Teacher reads a story about the theme to the children Theme work is often packed away for the next time.

Children often doing the same things, learning planned Teacher plans fieldwork and visiting experts based on by teacher childrens questions. Childrens questions drive the project. Teacher s role is a director and he/she decides activities Teachers role is that of facilitator . Children are guided and sets up and encouraged to develop own ideas Children follow instructions and work productively Children often work individually All children develop similar work No requirement for children to teach others about their work or what they have learned Generally 1-2 weeks duration Children develop a personal line of interest (or more) in the project and work on that Some individual work, but also children work together in pairs or small groups. Collaborative work. Children choose different investigations and different representations Children are expected to feedback their learning to others. Children share work with parents 6-8 weeks and up to a term or more.