Our program recognizes that children have different learning styles and we strive to present our lessons in a variety of ways. We know that a child has developmental domains and our program is balanced to offer activities throughout the day to encompass them: Physical both fine and gross, Cognitive, Social, Emotional, and Language both receptive and expressive.
Maria Montessori’s approach was to enhance children’s learning by stimulating their senses and involving as many senses in the learning process as possible. The approach of Montessori’s philosophy is summed up like this: Each Child is a Unique Person. The Montessori philosophy was largely based upon Maria Montessori’s observations of children in her classrooms. These observations formed the basis for the idea that Montessori education is child-directed. Since every child is different and has different skills and needs for development, Maria Montessori believed that if an adult watches and listens carefully, the adult can prepare an environment in which a child can thrive.
Jean Piaget approach to education is to know that cognitive development is not just any change of behavior or increase of understanding. True development in Piagetian terms is signaled by a change that demonstrates greater awareness of differences and similarities, plus an increased ability to classify the world. Development is permanent, not reversible. It results from the give and take between a child’s understanding of the world and the world itself.
Howard Gardners’ theory recognizes that everyone has a variety of ways to learn and is smart in different ways. His theory is that there are at least nine multiple intelligences so in our lesson plans incorporate all of the intelligences to teach concepts.
The Reggio Emilia approach views the environment as one of the child’s teachers. Here are some of the elements we incorporate into our programs:
- Within the Reggio Emilia schools, the educators are very concerned about what their school environments teach children. Hence, a great attention is given to the look and feel of the classroom. It is often referring to the environment as the “third teacher”.
- The aesthetic beauty within the schools is seen as an important part of respecting the child and their learning environment.
- A classroom atmosphere of playfulness and joy pervades.
- Teachers organize environments rich in possibilities and provocations that invite the children to undertake extended exploration and problem solving, often in small groups, where cooperation and disputation mingle pleasurably.
- Documentation of children’s work, plants, and collections that children have made from former outings are displayed both at the children’s and adult eye level.
It is our belief that the greater indicator of a person’s success in life is determined by the Social Emotional Development, so a lot of emphasis is placed on teaching children about feelings and learning how to be successful in social interaction.