Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Preferred Name - First Author

Dakota Gagliardi

Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Department of Early, Elementary and Reading Education

Advisor(s)

Dorothy Sluss

Abstract

Early childhood curricula have become a major source of conversation in recent decades. The desire for growth and reform in the education field has contributed to changing tides in the classroom, leading to more child-centered approaches that are believed critical in the acquisition of holistic development. Two such curricula that have received recent attention are Reggio Emilia and Tools of the Mind, both of which stem from the foundational beliefs of Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky. It is the aim of this paper to analyze both Reggio Emilia and Tools of the Mind in terms of how they compare to Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory of development. Due in large part to the interpretation of his theoretical components, these two models have caught the attention of early childhood education leaders and scholars. However, the degree to which Vygotsky is represented in each curriculum remains up for discussion. It is through the intentional promotion of strong social environments and the development of necessary cognitive skills that a curriculum model could actualize the beliefs of Vygotsky. Additional research to understand what this might involve is certainly worth further analysis.

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