Hi Families :)
When one thinks of curriculum and identifying what is important for children to learn, thoughts immediately go towards the academics of numbers, counting, colours, letters and so on. These are of course important things for children to know and are intentionally embedded within the curriculum at AEC across all rooms.
But Curriculum extends to more than the academics. Along with the expected intentions of promoting cognitive, physical, social and language skills, we believe that there is so much more for children to know.
Much of this lies in the realm of dispositions and life skills. At AEC we have decided that Philanthropy has a place in early childhood learning. We believe that it fits well with a view of the child being capable and competent and able to contribute to their world.
By involving young children in philanthropy we can foster important values like empathy, generosity, sharing, community involvement, good citizenship and gratitude.
When talking with children about philanthropy, our aim is not to build pity but empathy, teaching children to think ‘Here are some people that I can help’ and not ‘Look at what I have, poor them.’
We believe that teaching philanthropy should also be about teaching empathy and justice. It should not be a prideful activity, but one that helps kids imagine what life might be like in other circumstances and feel humble about the privileges they have. Yes, they should be proud about their giving, but that pride should ideally translate to more desire to help others and address injustices in our communities, nation, and world. Our hope is that we lay the foundations for empathy, generosity, and most importantly a commitment to social justice as they get older.
The photos below show our Kindergarten children going on a bus trip to place donated clothes that they have being collecting into the donation bins a few streets away. This came about as part of an investigation into clothing that branched off into many areas. This was a meaningful activity taking place in the real world and developing dispositions for life. Education does not get any better than that!!