Approach To Learning

Our approach to learning and its practical implementation in the classroom is consistent with our philosophy.

Specific programme activities and experiences are derived from our observations of the children’s play. In this manner, we capitalize on the current interests of the children in order to extend their play and learning.

This is referred to as child-centred learning as cues are taken from the children as a group and also individually. Activities and experiences are interactive, play based, and age appropriate. The role of the teaching staff is to facilitate the child’s learning by supporting their play and providing increasingly more complex challenges as the child’s competence grows.

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 activities for each age group of children.

That being said, all children progress across these developmental stages at their own rate. Early childhood 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

Materials available in the classrooms allow for exploration and examination. Teachers will 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. These include a library area, a block area, an area for dramatic play, science, art, manipulative, and texture play. These areas are often enhanced to provide new play opportunities. For instance the dramatic play area may be transformed to reflect an interest in babies by adding baby dolls, diapers, baby bottles and other items necessary for the care of infants.

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