Our Curriculum

Planning for Possibilities: themes children have a right to explore A Locally Designed, Reggio inspired Curriculum

One year into our study of the Reggio Emilia philosophy we wanted to explore a new structure for the way we taught with children. We hoped for a curriculum that expresses our emerging values, reflects a regional identity, meets Arizona Early Learning Standards and NAEYC1 criteria; and is inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy of education2. We began with the question, “what do children have a right to explore?” As our list of themes grew we discovered that many are significantly present in our teaching and in children’s exploration. So we adopted this outline of themes that children will explore over their years at Desert Spring. We expect these possibilities to be inspired and expressed uniquely by the identity of individual children, their classroom communities, in the relationships formed with and among educators, and by our presence living here in the University West neighborhood of Tucson in the Borderlands of the Sonoran Desert.

Themes children have a right to explore

  • Constructing identity; mine and others’
  • Building community and relationships
  • Color and light
  • Messages: inventing symbols and exploring ways to communicate
  • Books
  • Environmental Projects: projects inspired by children’s interests and questions
  • Daily Living and Routine Projects: projects that grow out of daily routines and rituals such as meals, naps, cleaning up, etc.
  • Self-directed projects: projects designed to be available to children at most times of the day that they can work on without assistance

1National Association for the Education of Young Children, reaccreditation 2009
2The Hundred Languages of Children, (Edwards, C., Gandin, L., and Forman, G.)
*Creative Curriculum, (Trister-Dodge, D., Colker, L.)
*Learning Together with Young Children (Curtis, D., and Carter, M.)