Eton School, Mexico City
The experiences presented in this article take place at Eton School in Mexico City, Mexico. Eton is a private, coed, multicultural, bilingual (Spanish and English) institution for children ages 2 to 18 (prekindergarten to grade 12).
As principal and assistant principal at Eton School’s Early Childhood Center, we have spent many years working with the Project Approach with children ages 2 to 6. We would receive comments from teachers that ranged from it being a wonderful experience to it being frustrating and not very meaningful for the children. It was the teachers of the 2-year-olds who repeatedly expressed their concern and discomfort with project work. We felt puzzled that teachers of older children found project work so engaging for themselves and the children, while the teachers of our very young children did not. At first we thought that the latter lacked knowledge about the Project Approach, its framework, and its features. We decided to give them further training and to work in closer collaboration with them. It was after we spent time in their classrooms, observing and accompanying them in the development of several projects, that we were able to determine the cause for their feelings. We could see that we needed to work with 2-year-old children in a different way than we were working with our older children. It was then that we began looking for ways of adapting features of the Project Approach to the needs and interests of our youngest learners.
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