Piniculum is a sarcastic term used to describe early learning curriculum comprised of stuff a teacher saw on Pinterest and thought was cute.
A piniculum fails to take the interests of the children into account and tends to focus more on finished products than process.
Piniculum activities often have very little relevance to the children subjected to them since they are selected by an adult instead of by the children themselves. They are selected because they interest the adult, the adult finds them cute, they have a lot of social media likes, they fit the week’s theme, or it is the correct time of year for such an activity. This means, for example, that a toddler living in Southern Florida who has never seen snow has to glue cotton ball snowflakes to a construction paper snowman.
Teachers can fall into using a piniculum because they feel parents want their children to bring home Pinterest-worthy projects to hang on the refrigerator or send to grandma.
Parents often accept piniculums as standard operating procedure because they don’t know there are other options, don’t feel comfortable questioning the teacher’s choices, or are just too tired from parenting and life to speak up.
Contact us with questions, concerns, and comments about this Early Learning Glossary Entry.
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