Experiential Learning and Child-Led Social Studies Curriculum

Livingston Street Shadows OutdoorsVery young children construct knowledge by experiencing their world through movement and by using their five senses. As they mature, children learn by interacting with people, places and things. Livingston Street Early Childhood Community offers a variety of experiences for young children to learn about their world through both experience and social interaction. From cooking to nature walks, the children are exposed to many experiences that are meant to challenge and encourage healthy development.

The children’s curiosity feeds the curriculum at Livingston Street. As children learn about and experience the world, they ask questions, show interest, and play-act their understanding. Teachers and caregivers respond to the children’s interest and take their lead in developing curriculum suited to each child’s developmental stage, thus establishing a child-led curriculum.

Livingston Street Community ServiceIn following the mission and goals of the Livingston Street, the specific curriculum for the children is based on nurturing the whole child and reinforcing the belief in social responsibility and a sense of community. While focusing on developing the individual identity of the child, teachers also be promote social empathy and the shared group experience. Bank Street’s School for Children, a nationally recognized leader in curriculum development, has adopted a social studies curriculum, through which children, “become social individuals who care for, respect, and contribute to the well-being of others.” It is the primary objective of the Livingston Street to teach and reinforce this idea through a unique and focused social studies curriculum where children can learn from each other and the community around them.

As stated in Bank Street’s curriculum guide, “The development of the child as a social being, a major aspect of schooling, is strongly tied to the child’s intellectual development. Children not only need to learn about living, working, and playing together, they need to learn by living, working, and playing together… Learning to solve problems together may be the single most important task we face as a society; it is a vital part of life in our classrooms.”