Philosophies of ELDC
We recognize the primacy of the family in each child’s life and strive to respect and support each family in raising and educating their children. We strive for open communication with families to help us understand the significant events in each child’s home life and to share with families the significant events that occur while children are in our care. We strive for a diverse staff that care about young children and have the necessary tools to provide a developmentally appropriate environment in which children can learn and grow. We try to help the staff in their quest for excellence, with ongoing training and professional support.
The educational philosophy of the Center is based on the Piagetian model. This is known as Genetic Epistemology. It is that children learn in developmentally appropriate stages. For example, a child of two years may be taught colors by rote memory if it is presented to them often enough for a long enough period. A child of three years who is developmentally ready, however, may learn this information in ten minutes, when it is presented to them. These states of developmental readiness, Piaget taught, are GENETICALLY determined.
Piaget stressed the need to utilize all senses for the most efficient learning. For example, to teach about apples and their properties you may verbally tell the student about them describing their shape, weight, taste, color, the fact that they grow on trees, their uses, and their varieties. This utilizes the sense of hearing. Further, you may provide the student with pictures of apples, apple trees, apple pies, apple juice, etc. This utilizes the use of sight, but only in two dimensions. You may provide examples of real and toy apples to hold and see thus utilizing another sense, feeling. Ideally, though, you would be able to provide pictures of apple trees and apple orchards, real apples for the student to see, hold and taste, apples to be pressed for apple juice, to be baked, or made into a pie, and later eaten, samples of apple juice, apple sauce, different varieties of apples, and any other information related to apples available. This way students learn through all of their senses, one complementing the other, what apples are and how they are used. This is called EPISTIMOLOGY. Thus the term Genetic Epistemology.
At The Early Learning and Development Center, we believe given adequate social skills, conflict resolution skills, a strong foundation for empathy, and an introduction to academic concepts, children are much more successful in an academic environment in later years. We use learning goals from The Creative Curriculum, anecdotal notes, and a portfolio system to track the children’s development and set goals for them based on individual and group needs.
Our preschool lesson plans are done weekly and are structured around a study based on the interests of the children. Our toddler lesson plans are also done weekly and focus on guided themes that correspond to the children's interest and their developmental milestones. Activities are provided throughout the day to meet a variety of learning styles. For example during circle time the teacher will read books and ask open ended questions for children to further understand the subject matter. These books are made available for children to look at independently or with a friend. During other times of the day, art and/or science projects are facilitated in small groups to provide an opportunity for children who learn best through one on one instruction. Teachers take notes throughout the week regarding children’s interactions with each other or interest in certain subject matters to develop goals for individual children and the class. By creating these opportunities children participate in activities that not only help develop social skills but also around literacy, gross/fine-motor work, and cognitive development.
An equal amount of structured and non-structured time is offered to the children so they are given every opportunity to build new skills and gain further understanding of the world around them by using the environment as well as teacher support to do so.