The Curriculum framework that best meshes with our centre’s philosophy is the Reggio Emilia approach. Some of the founding principles in this approach in which we have also adopted into our programs include:
- 1. Emergent Curriculum
- 2. Strong Image of the Child
- 3. Role of the Teacher
- 4. Parent’s role
- 5. Classroom Environment
1. Emergent Curriculum:. Over the last few years we have moved away from a “theme based” curriculum and have been incorporating a program based upon the children’s interests and ideas. We value and respect children and we believe that their ideas are a way for us to shape the curriculum. We learn best from observing and reflecting upon what we see the children doing and are interested in. We take note of their learning and document what they are experiencing. We have adopted an “Emergent Curriculum” approach to learning. We believe this approach is most consistent with our understanding about how children learn.
2. Strong Image of a child: We believe that children are naturally curious and they have the right to live fully in their childhood. We believe children are competent and we know they have a desire to learn, grow and make meaning of their world around them. We believe children are capable citizens. Our philosophy is based on the belief that children learn through play and experience. Children, families and educators values and beliefs are an integral part of our program.
3. Role of the Teacher: We view our Educators as researchers as they listen, observe, record, reflect, document, and plan children’s play. We allow our Educators time to reflect on their current practices and philosophies. They work collaboratively planning activities and the environment with their fellow colleagues. We document the children’s work through pictures. Educators are given time to study the photographs and make hypotheses on their learning. As part of our commitment to children, our educators receive support to pursue life-long learning opportunities.
4. Parent’s Role: We believe that Early Childhood Educators and Parents and Guardians need to work closely together to provide children with optimal experiences in the centre and at home. We strive to implement families into many aspects of our program, we see Parents and Guardians as the experts of their children. Working closely together, creating partnerships with the families is beneficial for everyone.
5. Environment: We attempt to make the atmosphere as “homelike” as possible. We have incorporated many of the key concepts of the Reggio Emilia approach to learning where we see the environment as the third teacher. We try to set up the room that allows for “Invitations and or Provocations to Play”. We are very purposeful and intentional setting up the environment each day, allowing for a variety of play experiences. We provide an environment that is rich in sensory exploration and full of natural textures and materials.