As parents, we want to do whatever we can to prepare our children for success throughout life. It’s important for them to healthy and happy now, but we know that they need to be given guidance and experiences that shape their ability to handle future challenges.
Katie Falwell, Ph.D., clinical child psychologist and founder of Collage Day School, and the administration and faculty of Collage specialize in child development and childhood education. They are passionate about encouraging creative thinking and providing education that is tailored to each student. They know that giving children access to an integrative curriculum and allowing them to discover and learn concepts for themselves encourages them to become independent thinkers and, someday, leaders.
Following the 10 standards for early childhood programs set by NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children), Collage’s curriculum is based on the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education. This approach emphasizes hands-on discovery learning that allows children to use all of the senses and all of their languages to learn and focuses on these principles:
Children are capable of constructing their own learning based on their interests to understand and know more. Children form an understanding of themselves and their place in the world through their interactions with others. Children use communication as a way of discovering things, asking questions, using language as play.The environment is the third teacher. The first teacher—the parent—takes on the role of active partner and guide in the education of the child. The second is the classroom teacher. Often working in pairs, the classroom teacher assumes the role of researcher and intentionally engages children in meaningful work and conversation. The third teacher is the environment—a setting designed to be not only functional but also beautiful and reflective of the child’s learning.
The adult is a mentor and guide for a child-led project approach. Documenting children’s thoughts by displaying their work shows the child’s learning process. Children use many different ways to show their understanding and express their thoughts and creativity – what is called “The Hundred Languages of Children.” Learning and play are not separated.
For more information about the Reggio Emilia educational approach, visit www.collagedayschool.org and read the news story, “Collage Teachers Focus on Fostering Creativity and Individual Learning.”
Collage Day School is an academically challenging, independent school for students from 3 months old through fifth grade located in Palm Valley at 171 Canal Blvd., Ponte Vedra Beach 32082. For more information about Collage, contact 904.900.1439, firstname.lastname@example.org. www.collagedayschool.org