Our Approach to Learning
Our approach to learning, and its practical implementation in the classroom, is consistent with our philosophy that children are full of possibility. Whether in the classroom learning environment or outdoors in our big backyard, Point Pleasant Park, we believe in offering children learning opportunities that are play-based, inclusive and age-appropriate.
Learning experiences are designed based on our observations of the children’s play. We are then able to build on the current interests of the children in order to extend their play and learning. This is referred to as emergent and child-centred learning.
In this approach the role of the educator is to facilitate the child’s learning by supporting their play and using their theoretical knowledge and practical experience to create intentional, thoughtful play provocations.
Children’s development occurs in predictable stages across all developmental domains; physical, social, emotional and cognitive. Our early childhood educators’ knowledge of typical development provides a framework from which they prepare the learning environment and plan appropriate learning opportunities for each age group. That being said, all children progress across these developmental stages at their own rate. Our educators use their observations of each child to plan experiences that are appropriate for the child’s skill level and development yet are also challenging.
Developmentally appropriate practice refers to the integration of the curriculum across all developmental domains, is based on observations of each child’s interests, and emphasizes learning as an interactive process.¹ From this philosophical base comes our commitment to the inclusion if children with special needs in our programs.
Materials available in the classrooms allow for exploration and examination. Our educators facilitate play experiences by asking open-ended questions, providing opportunities for problem solving and collaboration, and by ensuring that the environment is reflective of the children’s interests. Each classroom is designed to allow for the free movement of the children through a variety of learning centres.
Our goal is to provide a quality early learning experience for all children in an environment that is safe, happy, and stimulating.
¹ Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children Birth Through Age 8 , Sue Bredekemp Editor, NAEYC1987