INTEGRATIVE PLANNING AND PROJECT BASED LEARNING
Learning through project method, based on an authentic child’s curiosity.
A child learns about life from life itself, not from some lessons unrelated to its real experience. Therefore, it’s crucial that children absorb knowledge from Nature and real life experience from the earliest age. A child will show an interest for the characteristics of water when it firstly tries to swim and starts sinking. Or it will start thinking about bird migrations when it sees the empty nest of a swallow, not when the calendar says that Autumn starts.
For a child, information does not mean much until it is put in the right context. And the context in which a child learns the most is the play context. While playing, children explore freely, they observe, ask, conclude… they learn.
In order to create a program relevant to a child, which provides long-term and applicable knowledge, we use integrative planning and project-based learning. Integrative planning means that we approach one topic from different perspectives and we study it multidisciplinary – without strict separation on linguistic, logical-mathematical, interpersonal intelligence etc. We rather approach a topic holistically. The emphasis is on creation, not the result itself. In the process of creation, through proper professional guidance, the children spontaneously activate all of their intellectual capacities. Thus, they develop speech, logical/mathematical intelligence, artistic, motor intelligence etc. In the project based learning, children are constantly being monitored and mentored by the adults, but through their active participation in discovering reality.
Our program is based on 3 thematic pillars. These pillars are: Science Center, Me & The Others, Art & Multimedia.
Within the thematic pillars there is a large number of projects and workshops – Chatter Box, Musical Workshop, Hands-In-Dirt Workshop, Wisdomania, Science Workshops, Serbian Mythology, Eco-Activism, English Language, Chinese Language, Nonviolent Communication Program, Smile Keepers, Preparatory Preschool Program …
Workshops are carefully designed and adapted to fit the age-related development among children. In line with the development opportunities, the workshops aims are:
- Speech development and empowerment of social skills
- Gross and fine motor skills development
- Encouragement of a child’s responsibilities and autonomy
- Raising awareness about the world around us and our place in it
- Strengthening self-confidence and self-awareness
- Critical thinking development
- Development of the creative skills through creative upbringing
- Logic development; adoption of the mathematical concepts
- Resilience development
The expert team of Povratak prirodi, led by defectologists, pedagogues and a psychologist, continuously monitors and evaluates the development of every child. According to the development of each child, stimulative activities are organized in order to strengthen child’s capacities. In creating and implementing the program we strive towards the zone of proximal development, strongly believing in the power of a child’s mind.
An integrative and project-based learning provides permanent, experienced knowledge. Integrative approach creates a comprehensive, complementary picture about one theme and it enables acquirement of applicable, practical knowledge and skills.
Integrative learning in practice:
Let’s look at the example of the integrative planning and programing. Our studying topic the deserts and we are approaching them interdisciplinary . Within the Science Center we explore flora, fauna, climatic conditions…; within the segment Me & The Others, our topics are the people of the deserts, their customs, culture, tolerance, diversity; in Art & Multimedia, the desert becomes an inspiration for the artistic work. Photo gallery: https://povratakprirodi.rs/galerija-peskareno-integrativno-planiranje/
Besides the regular program, we also offer additional workshops that take place in the afternoon:
KARATE/KAPUERA – A healthy mind in a healthy body
HOME ALONE – themed Friday night sleepover at the kindergarten
RETRO CABARET – singing, acting, dancing inspired by evergreen music
MUSICIANS – musical literacy; singing, playing the piano, guitar, violin, ukulele, bass, drum, rattles, whistles
OUR THEATRE/APSART– acting, storytelling, guided imagination, stage movement
STIMULATIVE WORKSHOPS – speech development, strengthening individual capacities of children
Weekend workshops: SATURDAYS IN LAB and ART WEEKENDS, workshops intended for children aged 4 to 14 who like to spend their Saturdays in experimenting with science or art