Over our years working together, we teachers at Learning Circle Preschool have been inspired by the preschool programs in Reggio Emilia, Italy. This exemplary model of early childhood education has at its core a deep belief in the competence and creativity of young children. What makes these programs so special is
- an emergent curriculum model developed from observations of the children’s play
- a focus on projects and collaborative learning
- an integrated approach to learning using the graphic arts as tools for both cognitive and social development
- carefully organized and aesthetically pleasing classrooms and common spaces
- an understanding that the school environment can teach, and sets a tone for a comfortable and engaging environment for learning.
The children’s work is extensively documented using photographs, the children’s own drawings, dictations from the children, and videos of classroom projects in action. This documentation helps teachers develop curriculum meaningful to the children, and helps children remember and share their experiences together. Documentation also gives family members a concrete picture of each child’s day at school.