Our philosophy encompasses the ideas and teaching methods derived from the Project Approach while embracing Intentional Teaching.
THE PROJECT APPROACH
In Early Childhood Education, a project can be defined as an in-depth investigation of a topic that is worth learning more about and exploring.
Projects can emerge from questions that children raise and develop based on their interests. As educators, rather than offering the children immediate answers to their questions, the teachers provide them with experiences so that the children can discover the answers on their own.
The key feature of a project is that it is a research effort that is focused on finding answers to the questions about a topic posed by the children which encourages them to learn how to think instead of what to think. The Project Approach allows the children to lead the curriculum and the teachers to facilitate their learning through an interactive process.
A project on a topic of real interest to children involves them in a wide variety of tasks so they can deepen and expand their knowledge. Through project work children are discussing, listening, problem-solving, creating, drawing, measuring, writing, reading and building a rich new vocabulary.
The teachers’ focus is to observe and document the children’s discussions and interactions during their play. They will then expand on their interests by gathering as a group and webbing the children’s ideas and questions on different topics throughout the year. Our goal as educators is to build on their passions and prior knowledge so we can create authentic curriculum strategies, engaging activities and exciting experiences that challenge their thinking and learning.
Reggio Emilia – Fundamental Principles
- Children are capable of constructing their own learning.
- Children form an understanding of themselves and their place in the world through their interactions with others.
- Children are communicators.
- The environment is the third teacher.
- The adult is the mentor and the guide.
- There is an emphasis on documenting children’s thoughts.
At New Canaan Community Preschool, we embrace Intentional Teaching. Intentional teachers observe the children to assess their educational needs by setting individual and group goals based on the Connecticut Early Learning and Development Standards.
Learning goals for your child include aspects of growth that are grouped into eight domains:
- Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development and Health
- Language and Literacy
- Creative Arts
- Social Studies
The teachers select strands within a standard to work on throughout the week. This process of planning and observing ensures that your child’s developmental needs are met, and that he/she is continually challenged to his/her fullest potential.