ELC Guiding Philosophies
Our Image of the Child
We believe that children’s natural curiosity and desire to share knowledge drives exploration, inquiry and problem solving. Through this process children develop their understanding of the world.
Parents play a key role in their child’s development and are welcomed as partners into this environment, working with teachers to support their development. Parents are always welcome in the ELC and we invite meaningful participation and collaboration with the aim of creating a nurturing community for all. We see parents as partners who are competent, rich in ideas, and interested in communicating and exchanging information and advice about their child’s development and learning.
Our Image of the Teacher
We see the teacher as a facilitator of learning and development. Teachers provide children with warmth, understanding and acceptance in order to promote feelings of confidence, comfort and safety. The teacher serves their role through the following responsibilities:
- Reporter: Teachers nurture positive relationships with parents through the sharing and exchange of information. We seek to regularly communicate children’s learning, activities, achievements and goals with parents.
- Dispenser of Occasions: Teachers observe, listen, and pay close attention to children’s interests and prepare experiences to engage and provoke their thinking, curiosity and imagination.
- Custodian of the Learning Environment: Teachers take care to provide an aesthetically beautiful, inspiring and engaging learning environment for children.
- Model of Positive Behavior: Teachers model positive attitudes and respectful relationships for children.
- Supporter: Teachers support children with warmth, understanding and acceptance. Teachers aid children in their problem solving by providing the questions and resources needed to continue their inquiries.
The Role of the Environment
In the ELC, we believe the actual learning environment is the “third educator”, the parents being the first, and teachers being the second educator for each child. We strive to provide learning spaces that foster relationships, communication, and independence. These spaces invite children to explore and inquire. Children’s interactions in and with these spaces stimulates them to become active learners, by providing ongoing opportunities for them to:
- make choices and decisions
- use materials in flexible and imaginative ways
- initiate inquiry and ask questions
- work collaboratively with others
- sustain their interests and extend their knowledge
- develop understandings
The Importance of Play
Playing is extremely important for children of this age. It is spontaneous and meaningful to children. Play is the means through which children engage with the world and provides the foundation for collaboration, learning, abstraction and reasoning. ELC students are given structured and non-structured periods of time and as much space as possible to explore, investigate and play with a variety of materials, in order to learn about themselves, other people and the world around them. We believe that the most effective way to promote the development of important skills – the ability to think critically, question, communicate effectively, and be independent – is to support both personal and collaborative play.