They, the children, are autonomously capable of making meaning from their daily life experiences through mental acts involving planning, coordination of ideas and abstractions... The central act of adults, therefore, is to activate, especially indirectly, the meaning-making competencies of children as a basis of all learning. They must try to capture the right moments, and then find the right approaches, for bringing together, into a fruitful dialogue, their meaning and interpretations with those children.
—Loris Malaguzzi 1920-1994
our goal is simple...
we honor each family as unique and valuable members of the APS family. Children are respected as competent and intelligent people who flourish in a stimulating environment and learning community. Teacher's observations of the children inform meaningful and relevant curriculum based on the interests of the children and teachers. We develop curriculum that allows for children to examine and research their interests over time to develop deeper understanding.
...children themselves provide the ideas and the inspiration for learning, and that learning is a community experience...”
We believe children's work is their play. It is how children organize and make sense of the world. We provide a rich environment both indoors and outdoors where children have the freedom to make choices and have opportunities to develop strong problem solving skills and use their own ideas to develop meaningful play with each other. Through successful play experiences, children build a sense of confidence that fosters emotional security and engages them as learners. We believe emotional security leads to intellectual freedom. We concentrate on maintaining a loving and supportive environment necessary for growth.
Our social justice stance provokes us to help children to ask questions, to recognize differences among people and to engage in critical dialogue about the meaning they are making about differences. We maintain a supportive social environment where children can express their ideas and emotions in safe, non-hurtful ways. We initiate activities to build positive self-identity and create opportunities to see the value of differences among people.
We take a hands-on, experiential approach to learning in our child centered, play based program. Our beliefs and philosophies are grounded in the work of noted theorists Dewey, Erikson, Piaget, Vygotsky and Bruner. We are inspired by the work with young children and families in Reggio Emilia, Italy and the research focused on learning at Harvard University's Project Zero. Our curriculum is emergent and we hold a social justice stance in working with children, families, staff and our larger community.
The rights of the child are the foundation of our work
Children with special needs have special rights
Parents have a right to participate
Professional development is the right of the teacher
Curiosity and Joy in Learning are essential
The right to time - for dialogue; for pacing that allows for inquiry and connection; for relationships to develop
The right to dialogue - for everyone in our school community and with materials
Social justice and conflict resolution are at the heart of our school community
We are advocates for childhood
Children have a right to nature and the outdoors
Teachers work in collaboration with each other to understand and support the growth and learning and development of each child, the whole group and the school community. Families are the child's first teacher and their contribution to their child's learning process is valued and respected. Teachers, parents and children work together to build a strong community and cultivate individual's learning and growth. The teachers respect each child for who they are and how they learn. They value and honor the families. With the Anti-bias approach to learning, our teachers honor differences and openly discuss differences with the children. Children are encouraged to express themselves through all available expressive, communicative and cognitive languages. Teachers guide the children and follow their lead.