The child is the most important teacher in our program. We view the child as powerful and full of potential. Through careful observation of their development and interests, we assist them in the construction of knowledge. And we learn. When we enroll a child at Koala Early Education Center, we enroll a family. It is our work together as educators and parents that guide the curriculum for the child as an individual in our learning community.
- Children play. Play is powerful. It is how young children learn. It is their work.
- Children do not develop skills in isolation. They do not experience growth in the exact same way. A child is simultaneously developing as an individual emotionally, physically and cognitively and in a group setting, they are developing socially.
- The adults in our program (teachers, families, and students) are curriculum makers along with the children. It is the role of the adult to nurture, to observe, to provoke learning opportunities, to provide appropriate materials and guidance, to share ideas and to continually reflect on the learning process.
- We view the environment as a powerful teaching tool. How we organize, furnish, enhance, supplement and share our setting has meaning for the children. We want our environment to offer comfort and stimulation to each child and to make all feel welcome. The environment should support the development and stimulate thinking. It is a place of exploration for children. It is also reflective of the values we share, as a learning community.
- Relationships are the core of our curriculum. The single most important indicator of quality in an early childhood program is the interaction that takes place with and around the children. We are building trust, respect, and understanding through all of the relationships that surround the children- child to child, adult to child and adults to each other.
- Our relationships are the basis for us to form a learning community unlike any other.
- It is our responsibility to make learning visible. Documentation is how we tell our story. It is a powerful teaching tool for the adults to consider and it is the way we show children how much we value their work. The plans, events, experiences, projects, the very life of our center can be viewed through the various forms of documentation that demonstrate our work together. Our classrooms and hallways should provide walking tours of what is currently happening as well as the history of our program. Photographs and film, works of art, text, constructions, the literature we choose — all are ways to see how we expand and validate the richness of learning that is taking place on a daily basis. If you look carefully at the materials you will note how literacy, number concepts, science and the arts, motor skills and social relationships, nutrition and health are carefully interwoven in our curriculum.
It is, therefore, our belief that the relationships that are formed in a carefully planned environment are the motivating force for curriculum. The curriculum that emerges from this particular group of individuals in this place is our curriculum.