Two years later...Project Based Learning at EBI
Which type of family would enrol their child into a kindergarten with no artificial toys, an empty playground, and almost no indoor equipment? Instead, they would be met with a wild open garden, and raw materials such as wooden building blocks, straw bales, sand, wood chips, clay, soil and trees.
Before the children could even start playing in the sandpit they needed to design and build it - and fill it with sand, assisted by their families. Before they could ride the bikes smoothly, they needed to plan and construct a suitable road. The same process is needed for the outdoor classroom equipment like tables and chairs, the treehouse, and the adobe houses. Dream it, design it, do it!
When the garden flooded after every heavy downpour, this was used as an opportunity to lay a drainage basin with the children. When the sun shines continuously and the children need to cool off, they erect a movable shade cover with the help of the teachers. When they have learned to harvest and plant the seeds from fruits and vegetables, they built an earth oven where they can bake the vegetables - and many other dishes. In any case, the next project develops from a current situation that requires a solution.
The children build their kindergarten the way they need it. Step by step they designed - and continue to design - the entire garden. They construct their own world. Their ideas and wishes are incorporated and implemented in every single project. The countless possibilities for participation are crucial to this concept. The children thus have a direct influence on the design and use of the respective object. These are prerequisites for the project-based learning approach and that is why families would like their child to be with us in our EBI nest.
By Regina Kruse-Özcelik
Early Birds Istanbul Founder & Owner