Philosophy & Curriculum
Our goal is to cultivate the skills that are at the foundation of a life of happiness and success: cooperative and individual problem-solving, analytical thinking, emotional intelligence and empathy, cultural competence – as well as early literacy and math skills and real-world preparation.
To achieve that, our curriculum is built around a series of inquiries that grow out of the children's authentic interests. They are playful, but far more than "play" – combining the power of the children's boundless curiosity with an expertly guided investigative approach that immerses the children in the process and joys of real discovery.
Research consistently supports that emergent curriculum in early education – emphasizing authentic experiences rather than a rigid curriculum – leads to greater levels of information and skills acquisition, increased self-esteem and, ultimately, higher achievement. We have found this approach allows children to consistently exceed the usual educational standards, and to simultaneously develop a robust self-awareness and a joy in learning that will serve them for a lifetime.
The Reggio Approach
Our curriculum is based on the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education, which encourages young children and their teachers to explore, question, and discover in a stimulating environment. We aim to provide warm, safe and nurturing environment which will cultivate children's optimal social and emotional growth as well as their physical and intellectual skills.
Our program lays the foundation for your child's lifelong skills as a learner, teaching them how to:
- Respect others and self
- Question and explore
- Channel their natural curiosity
- Use their environment to learn and grow intellectually
Mud Pies and Make Believe programs include:
Learning is child-directed. Rather than teachers choosing an area of investigation and giving the children isolated facts on a given subject, teachers work as researchers alongside the children. They carefully listen to the interests of the children, assisting the children in defining their questions as a place to begin investigations and express their knowledge.
Project Approach/Inquiry based model
Project work is the method by which children and teachers explore in-depth the interests and ideas generated by the children. Teachers provide materials, help children identify their hypotheses and then work in collaboration with the children to pursue a course of study. Teachers provide continuous support through the process by adding provocations and challenges to encourage the children to take their learning to deeper and deeper levels.
Hands-on, active learning
Research shows that children learn best through play, using their whole bodies in active learning. We honor this in our program, providing an abundance of learning opportunities through meaningful play.
The importance of the environment, “the environment as the third teacher”
The environment is seen as instrumental to a child’s educational experience. The classroom environment is composed thoughtfully and intentionally. Teachers work together to create opportunities for learning throughout the environment in addition to providing a safe, comfortable place for children to carry out their investigations.
Teacher as researcher
Teachers are committed to listening, observing, and documenting children's work carefully throughout their investigative process. In this capacity, teachers are able to provoke, co-construct, stimulate new thinking, and foster children's collaboration with each other.