Sprouting Minds Learning Centre was formed as a Reggio inspired program to create a holistic preschool integrating the best in educational pedagogies. As I professionally develop and learn more, my teaching methods are drawn from a variety of early childhood developmental philosophies. I utilize the theories of Reggio Emilia, Piaget, Erickson, and the Project Approach to educate the children in our Program. With the construction of each lesson plan we take into consideration Howard Gardener’s Multiple Intelligence’s Theory and developmentally appropriate practices. In addition our curriculum is also influenced by Montessori, Waldorf, present day education research and our beautiful natural environment.
I strongly believe that a program should promote the highest possible levels of cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and ethical development for each child. This can only be achieved if you keep in mind that each child has a different temperament and therefore should be provided with an environment that supports their temperament and interest. I also believe that education must move beyond preparing children to become “well-educated” citizens who are productive participants in the economic system. Education must also cultivate in young people spirituality, reverence for the natural environment, and a sense of social justice. Education must inspire children’s creativity, imagination, compassion, self-knowledge, social skills, and emotional health. My goal is to provide educational experiences and an environment that is adapted to each individual child, rather than the child adapt to the environment.
Here is what I love about each Philosophy:
The Reggio Approach:
I love how this approach allows children to be active learners. It allows for a creative learning process where children want to seek answers, hypothesize, experiment and problem solve.
The Montessori Method:
I love the respect for the materials and the fact that children are able to pursue their learning independently with guidance from an instructor. It is a self-paced, self-motivated method.
The Waldorf Approach:
I love the gentle approach to learning that recognizes the child as a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual being. It emphasizes creativity, imagination, logic, connection to nature, and rhythms. This approach supports children to have clarity of mind, a caring heart, and inner self-confidence.
Each activity and invitation that is set out for the children is meant to keep all these approaches and methods in mind. The activities cater to the different temperaments in the room. Some children like to sit down and participate in a focused activity while others like to use materials from work stations/ learning centers.
Here is an example of an activity that is influenced by the Montessori and Waldorf approach. Children were encouraged to sew randomly within an outlined shape. They used their hands, developed manual dexterity and manipulative skills. Sewing is handwork that extends the benefits of practical life work for the older child. Children will continue to develop fine motor skills and concentration, while building self-confidence with successful experiences.
The children in our program also engage in weaving, baking, preparing snack, painting, gardening, building and handicrafts, playing musical instruments, drama, and singing. Imagination plays a large role in our Centre and materials are provided that can be used however the child imagines.