• The Family Center Early Childhood Beliefs

    Our inquiry-based and integrated curriculum is influenced by the Missouri Early Learning Standards, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and current child development theory. We are inspired by the innovative public school system in Reggio Emilia that emphasizes respect for each child and the child’s ability to influence his or her own learning.

    We believe young children learn to make sense of their world through play, exploration, inquiry, collaboration, and interaction with others including peers, teachers, families and their environment. When given the time and space for play, children practice regulating their emotions and further develop their social and cognitive skills while gaining self-confidence to engage in new experiences. 

    We invite children to explore and solve problems independently or in small groups where cooperation, collaboration and disagreements intermix through an environment that is rich in possibilities and provocations.

    We believe in reciprocal learning relationships among children, teachers and families. We value all children’s capabilities and intelligence, teachers as researchers, and families as their child’s first teachers. We are a community of learners. Children, teachers and families work together to create trust and connections. Our identities are formed by our relationships and interactions with others and with the environment that surrounds us.

    The Role of the Teacher

    We value a co-teaching relationship where teachers maintain a balance between being learners along with the children as well as teacher-researchers who serve as a resource and guide lending knowledge to children. Teachers carefully listen, observe, and document children’s thoughts, ideas, beliefs and current understandings. Teachers engage in self-reflection and reflective conversations with colleagues and children in order to support the growth of community in the classroom and to provoke children’s thinking.

    We believe curriculum is organic, emerging from the interests of the child, teachers and families.