Philosophy of Curriculum
What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not
knowledge in pursuit of the child. – George Bernard Shaw
What children learn does not follow as an automatic result from what is taught,
rather, it is in part due to the children’s own doing, as a consequence of
their activities and our resources. – Loris Malaguzzi
At CC PRE, we create dialectical processes, where children learn through shared experiences with teachers and peers. Our school is a dialog-rich environment. Our approach stresses dialogue because it is primarily through speech that adults transmit knowledge to children, and primarily through speech that children teach adults what they need to learn.
At CC PRE, our philosophy of curriculum is all about balance. We help kids learn to listen their inner voice, and the voices of others. We help kids to identify their own needs and to begin to understand the rights of others in an inclusive caring environment. There is a balance between child-directed and teacher-directed activities. There is a balance between individual, small and large group activities. There is a balance between inside and outside experiences. There is a balance between the need to learn the more academic, pre-kindergarten skills and the need to learn life skills like the ability to self-regulate and communicate – preparing them for life in a world of richness and diversity.
Curriculum and learning are co-created in a spiral process of listening and observing the evolving interests of the children, asking questions and listening for the children’s ideas, hypotheses and theories. Based on the responses of children, teachers place educational elements in the environment and plan activities and long and short-term projects to provoke further exploration of the topic.
Projects are the backbone of the CC PRE philosophy of curriculum. We strongly believe in a hands-on, high-involvement, learn by doing approach. Projects include many opportunities for creative thinking and exploration. Project topic ideas come from the teachers’ observations of the children’s play and exploration AND from academic and social concerns and goals of teachers and parents. In addition to the life skills, and skills of inquiry and exploration, our goal is for children to leave CC PRE fully ready for kindergarten. Successful projects are those that engage a significant amount of interest and curiosity that provoke children’s creative thinking and problem solving. Projects may evolve and take unexpected turns based on the questions and ideas that emerge through the process.