Child Directed Learning
Since 1978 when the first children enrolled at Bread and Roses, our staff have implemented a play-based, child directed curriculum. Our focus is on developing empathy, self esteem, and a sense of social responsibility in each child.
Planned activities, including music, movement, creative arts, cooking, science and dramatic play, all are designed to build each child's self image.
Bread and Roses staff members encourage an active thought process, creative problem solving and take the time to help children verbalize their emotions and resolve difficulties in constructive and fulfilling ways.
Staff encourage gentleness, sharing, assertiveness, intellectual development, athletic prowess and sensitivity in both boys and girls.
Our teaching pedagogy, environment, and daily activities are inspired by Reggio Emilia. The main principles of Reggio Emilia that guide our program are:
- Children are capable to construct their own learning
- Children are collaborators and learn through interaction within their communities
- Children are natural communicators and should be encouraged to express themselves however they feel they can
- The classroom environment acts as the third teacher
- Teachers are partners, nurturers, and guides who help facilitate the exploration of children’s interests as they work on short and long-term projects
- Documentation is a critical component of communication
- Parents are partners in education
This approach to education differs from the typical K-12 education experience and likely differs from the preschool experience most adults may remember from their own childhood. This approach focuses on the long term success of each child, by developing a drive for lifelong learning, inquiry, and critical thinking. Our focus is on the process as opposed to the product when completing projects. For example, a child who is curious about cutting and developing their fine motor skills through work with scissors may spend the morning cutting a paper into tiny pieces and then throw the pieces away when they are done. This open exploration of materials and tools is highly beneficial for development, and is much more useful to the child than a more adult-guided craft.
Respect for All People
Another important part of our curriculum is a commitment to Anti-Bias Education. Our team does extensive “self-work” including training on equity, diversity and multiculturalism, implicit bias, and inclusion. We talk with the children about complicated issues in a way that they can understand. A simple way to understand Anti-Bias Education is that we help children learn that we are all alike in some ways and different in some ways, and that is wonderful!
4 goals of ABE are:
Identity - Children develop confidence in who they are, and are comfortable being themselves
Diversity - Children develop a sense of joy in human diversity, can talk about differences using accurate and respectful language, and are comfortable forming connections across all areas of diversity
Justice - Children will learn to identify injustice and unfairness, understand that unfairness hurts others, and have vocabulary to talk about it.Activism - Children will feel empowered to stand up for their right to be treated fairly, and for others