The early childhood program at St. Luke’s offers a child-centered, play-based approach inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy. We view children as intelligent, capable, and curious learners who by their very nature will explore, discover, question, experiment, and construct their own knowledge about the world.
The Reggio Emilia method is an open-ended approach that emphasizes exploration and hands-on learning based on children’s current interests. This method, which is aligned with current best practices as defined by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), emphasizes 21st-century learning skills including problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, and community awareness. With the Reggio method, the environment plays an essential role, so the intentional creation of environments that engage children and teachers in the learning process is ongoing. Rather than direct learning, our early childhood teachers act more as facilitators and co-learners with their students.
Our early childhood curriculum includes the use of traditional materials such as paint and clay, but it also regularly incorporates other modes of expression such as light, shadow, and sound. Children also have the opportunity to explore with elements found in nature. Rocks, sticks, leaves, soil, and other natural elements are commonly used to introduce science, math, and pre-reading concepts.
“It is our job as educators to create beautiful spaces filled with listening and guidance for children to question, investigate, and discover.”— Kathy Stenhouse