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This work aims to illustrate how children - even those considered "at-risk" - may benefit from the exploratory and child-initiated nature of project investigations in order to achieve mastery of basic literacy skills. It also presents student-initiated learning as a starting point for dynamic and responsive teaching. The story of how projects emerge, develop, and culminate is told through a combination of teacher interviews and vivid accounts of classroom practice. Building upon inclusionary and child-centred practices, the authors offer a much-needed perspective on the pre-primary years. Key features include: an emphasis on how teachers solve the practical problems of doing projects with young children, including selecting topics, organizing the classroom, setting up field visits, encouraging children to represent what they are learning, and involving parents; chapters written from practice, including some in full colour; examples of children's art and writing; classroom materials; and a step-by-step guide for teachers to use in guiding and documenting projects.
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Judy Harris Helm heads her own educational consulting and training company, Best Practices, Inc., in Brimfield, Illinois, and is the author of numerous books, including Windows on Learning, The Power of Projects, and Teaching Your Child to Love Learning. Lilian G. Katz is past president of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and professor emerita at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
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