Program Philosophy and Practices
Philosophically, UMCDC is based on socio-cultural and constructivist theories and inspired by the schools of Reggio Emilia and Pistoia, Italy. The Center is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, NAEYC, with which UMCDC practices are aligned.
Teachers see themselves with children as facilitators, co-researchers, and co-constructors of psycho-social, motor, and cognitive development. Teachers develop and create curriculum around children’s interest(s), observations, assessment, and their knowledge of development.
Teachers see that children are born with curiosity, a desire to learn. The role of caregivers (teachers & parents) is to assist nature. Elements of the physical environment are also meant to develop this desire, and the curriculum(s) are centered around this development.
Readiness is looked at developmentally. We use a variety of methods in our naturalistic assessments of children, conducted on an ongoing basis. Kinds of things that we look for are developmental landmarks, such as the ability to wait and self-regulate, sharing with others, and cognitive growth. When we conduct these assessments, for group and individual profiles, we then reflect and use them to develop curriculum.