We believe …
- Young children are curious and ready to learn
- Interesting experiences and good conversation provide strong learning potential
- Preschoolers form foundational understandings that they will build future knowledge on
- Children need to be seen and heard
- Children deserve respect as competent learners
- Children make sense of their world through play experiences
- Children benefit from interacting with materials, peers, and adults
- All people learn best when they are interested and actively engaged
- School readiness is about academic and social-emotional preparedness
- Learning life skills known as executive functioning skills are crucial components of preschool curriculum
Fundamental elements of our philosophy:
- Children are to be respected as fully realized human beings who possess a great capacity for learning and loving.
- Children are competent, capable learners who need support and encouragement from loving families and committed early childhood teachers. Our goal is to create a classroom environment that prepares children for academic-based school readiness skills and much more.
- Children thrive when there is a strong home/school connection where families and teachers work together to support the child’s development.
- We value teachers as researchers committed to lifelong learning who desire to share that passion with the children they teach.
- We believe that a beautiful, prepared environment, both indoors and out, contributes to the child’s construction of knowledge.
- We are committed to a developmentally appropriate understanding that rich play promotes executive functioning skills, social emotional development and cognitive concept development.
As we witness children growing in a community of learners where each voice is valued we acknowledge and affirm:
- Responsive relationships and communication, especially conversation, are powerful teaching tools.
- Documentation and an emergent curriculum are means to sustain and build on those on-going conversations so that the child’s learning is continually building upon previous knowledge and always expanding.
- The early childhood years establish a foundation of wondering, questioning and discovering that will support every stage of learning to follow.
- Children who love learning and are confident in their abilities to persist, problem solve, communicate and collaborate are ready for school and life.
The First Presbyterian Church Preschool is transitioning from a traditional preschool model to a Reggio-inspired model. This is a process that will take several years and, in reality, is never finished since the philosophy places strong emphasis on continued learning, school/home partnerships, and responsiveness to children that acknowledges every child is unique and contributes to the classroom learning experience.
Our work with young children is based upon the theories of Jean Piaget, John Dewey and Lev Vygotsky. We are students of the approach developed in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and are part of a rich learning community that seeks to apply best and proven practice to our daily work with young children.