The program uses Teacher Strategies Gold from Creative Curriculum that builds upon each child’s individual interests and preferences, while assisting them in learning to be members of a diverse group of children. Children are active learners, creating knowledge and learning through their daily experiences with materials and people. Every child is an individual, with unique strengths, interests, personality, and approach to learning. The curriculum is developmentally appropriate, based on the educational philosophy that children “learn by doing” and that the adults provide opportunities for children to experiment and explore their environment:
- Learning is most meaningful when it happens in the context of the child’s everyday experiences at home and in the classroom. For children with special educational needs, the most useful experiences occur when specialized services are integrated into classroom activities and routines.
- Independence is fostered and language, cognitive, motor, self-help and social skills are developed in settings designed for children and supported by responsive adults. The environment is arranged to include a variety of accessible materials organized to encourage learning through play.
- Development is promoted by practices that do not emphasize competition between children, are individually- and age-appropriate, are carried out in an atmosphere of acceptance and respect, and are interesting and challenging to children.
- Appropriate behavior is fostered by helping children learn to control their behavior and work out their conflicts with others rather than relying solely on adults to manage their behavior and intervene in disputes. Positive discipline places emphasis on preventing problems by attending to the room arrangement, having age-appropriate expectations, providing interactive activities for play and learning, and active adult monitoring and supervision.
- Learning about and respecting differences among people are promoted when children have many opportunities to play and interact with classmates of different racial and cultural backgrounds and varying abilities.
- An atmosphere of mutual respect among staff and families is important for all who interact with children. When staff recognizes and value the beliefs, customs, and traditions of each family, the child and families are best served.
- Staff work as partners with parents, but parents are the ultimate decision-makers in planning and setting goals for their children.
- Information from teachers and specialists, based on current research and recommended practice, provides support to families in their decision-making process.
- The advocacy efforts of staff and families are important for improving the lives of all children.