Paladin, Inc.’s early childhood education programs’ curricula and philosophy are inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach, and are based on current research and best practices that balance physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development.
Information on Reggio-Emilia
Paladin’s Early Childhood Programs including Head Start of LaPorte County and Imagination Station’s, are informed by a Reggio-Emilia inspired approach. In this approach, we will consider the following as the building blocks to our curriculum:
1: Image of the Child
The image of the child being capable of constructing his/her own learning is central to the Reggio philosophy. The child is the protagonist who constructs his/her own knowledge. Children are endowed with natural curiosity which fuels their unique interests acting as a catalyst for learning. Our program will foster growth towards these goals through supporting children in their curiosities, recognizing a child’s unique interests, needs and strengths, and by fostering an environment where children are central in their learning process.
2: Children’s 100 Languages
Children have multiple modes of communicating- they are natural communicators and will be encouraged to communicate through whatever means they can: verbal, kinesthetic, musical, and through varied art experiences.
3: The Atelierista (The Studio Teacher)
The Atelierista (The Studio Teacher) will ensure that children have the tools to communicate their thoughts through various media (e.g. paint, clay, wire, natural materials etc.). Children will be encouraged to use many materials for discovery and communication. These modes will serve as a demonstration of what they understand, wonder, question, feel, or imagine. It is the teacher’s responsibility to facilitate the exploration of a child’s surroundings.
4: Parents and Community
Relationships between all persons in our Reggio inspired model are foundational in creating a community where the child and family are central to the learning process. The teacher builds trust with the child through affirming the competencies of each individual child and family that s/he serves. Our teachers will recognize that parents are the child’s primary teacher and will stand alongside them as advocates for the family. A critical component of learning is that parents are partners in their child’s education.
5: Children as Collaborators
Students will form meaningful relationships with their peers through inquiry-based learning opportunities. Children will work together as to ask questions, explore, discover, and reflect on their experiences. During these experiences, children will engage in positive social interactions, engage in cooperative play, and utilize problem solving skills to help resolve conflicts with other children.
6: Teacher as learners
This requires staff to participate in constant reflection in their approaches to children’s learning and on their contributions to the classroom environment. Teachers observe, record, share, analyze, and debate their emerging understandings of children’s ways of thinking and learning and then share these understandings with others. The need to learn more about children in order to better teach them demonstrates a pedagogical approach to our Reggio-inspired curriculum. The need to learn includes teacher curiosities as well as those expressed by children themselves within the context of long-term open-ended projects, or Proggettazione.
A primary feature of this Reggio inspired curriculum is focused on long-term open-ended projects. Teachers are able to observe their student’s individual needs/interests which allows them to develop meaningful and collegial learning experiences. Progettazione is also constructed in the process of each experience or project: the curriculum is adjusted accordingly through a continuous dialogue among the teachers and with the children. This approach encourages the voices of children, parents, and teachers and is support of learning in an authentic, emergent way.
8: Physical Environment “The Third Teacher”
The classroom sets the stage for children’s experience at school. This challenges us to consider how a space impacts the children’s feelings and thoughts. We will create spaces which are centered around children’s needs, are inviting and warm, and which are responsive to changing interests and inquiries. The environment will support the work and interests of the children and will offer opportunities for independent and group exploration.
Located in the heart of the Edgewood Neighborhood in Michigan City.
Niemann School; Home of Head Start of LaPorte County
Bethany Lutheran Church; Home of Head Start of LaPorte County
All Sites Are Equipped With
- Closed circuit monitoring of every room
- Secured entry system
- Radio Communication System
- One-touch emergency call buttons
- Strict adherence to licensing, health, and fire regulations
- ADA accessible and developmentally appropriate fenced-in playgrounds
- Comprehensive staff training on safety drills, emergency procedures, and active supervision.
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