WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE BELIEVE
The Las Positas College Child Development Center is an inclusive, learning-centered program providing early educational opportunities that meet the social-emotional, cognitive, physical, creative, and personal development goals of its diverse young children and families.
Our young children develop the knowledge, skills, values, competencies, and abilities to become engaged and contributing partners in their immediate community. The CDC is committed to providing and a quality learning environment that is respectful and inclusive of all young children and their families, students and community families, and dedicated to supporting the early education teachers, staff, students, and the higher education community in their pursuit of research and professional development.
In relation to the Las Positas College vision statement, the Child Development Center meets the child and his or her family where they are and creates "real" and authentic learning experiences for them to build their capacity, speak to their potential, and transform the way they see the world.
Recognizing the family is the child’s first teacher, we believe in partnership with the child and their family is essential and healthy. Integral to our philosophy is recognizing that children are competent learners who develop socially, emotionally, physically, creatively, and cognitively in an authentic learning environment.
- children develop optimally within a community of trusting relationships in a warm, safe and nurturing environment.
- children are born as competent individuals, with an innate curiosity and healthy desire to learn, and they construct their understanding of the world through their own interactions with peers, adults, and materials.
- children learn best in small groups with a trusting and responsive primary caregiver in a pattern of a continuity of care.
- a quality learning environment that is natural, flexible, and emergent according to a child’s interests and needs support a child’s integrated development.
Our curriculum is play-based, hands-on, and emergent to the children's needs and interests. We respond and reciprocate to the unique needs and interests of children in a developmentally relevant manner.
The teaching philosophy is based on the Constructivist theory. In this point of view, the growth lies in part within the maturing individual child, and it also occurs in part as a result of the interaction between the child, the environment, and the people to whom the child relates.
Our teachers' roles are intentional in their guiding, questioning, and empowering, in order for the child to learn by constructing or reconstructing what he knows as he encounters a variety of experiences and people who widen and enrich his knowledge.
In the same way, the "Reggio-Emilia" approach (an Italian-derived Constructivist method) will be actively implemented by the teaching staff. We see the child as a unique creation---strong, competent, capable of constructing his own thoughts and ideas, and having great potential to offer the world around him.
In the "Reggio Emilia" Approach, our teachers become a compass that may point a child to a particular direction, and education is seen as an ever-developing process that cannot be predetermined because it emerges bit by bit. We carry out short-term as well as long-term projects to encourage this building of their curiosity and knowledge into levels of discovery and mastery.
The Child Development Center curriculum also believes that the parent is an expert of their own child. We encourage contribution of parent’s knowledge of their own child, and we contribute our own observations and knowledge of the child at school. In the best interest of the child, we encourage “teamwork” and partnerships with the teaching staff and parents when it comes to the child’s own learning and development.
At the Child Development Center, children’s interests, their motivation for exploration and discovery, and parent cooperation and partnership is our primary focus. Parent participation is highly encouraged and welcomed, especially as it is beneficial for their child’s learning.
In relation to the Las Positas College vision statement, the Child Development Center meets the child and his family where they are and creates “real” experiences for them to build their capacity, speak to their potential, and transform the way they see the world.
PRO DIVERSITY AND NON SEXIST EDUCATION
The Las Positas College Child Development Center is committed to providing all children the freedom to be whoever or whatever they choose rather than limiting their options. In this respect, our goals are:
- To portray both males and female as nurturing, capable, feeling human beings
- To refrain from gender – casting jobs and stereo – typing gender roles
- To encourage both active and quiet play for both boys and girls.
Non sexist / anti bias education begins is at the core of our being and practice. We believe in its active and ongoing pursuit within our program, which we acknowledge presents continual learning challenges to parents and staff alike.
Anti-bias education is an approach to early childhood education that sets forth values-based principles and methodology in support of respecting and embracing differences and acting against bias and unfairness. Anti-bias teaching requires critical thinking and problem solving by both children and adults.
The overarching goal is creating a climate of positive self and group identity development, through which every child will achieve her or his fullest potential.” We see this as an integral aspect of our educational program.
To assist our teachers with the implementation of our Constructivist philosophy, we will utilize theoretical materials from The Creative Curriculum by Dodge, Colker, and Heroman. The Creative Curriculum serves as a framework for our curriculum development and incorporates careful attention to design of the learning environment (with a focus on interest centers), developmentally appropriate practices (DAP), purposeful planning, and accurate assessment of children’s learning outcomes.
Teachers will use a variety of natural methods to observe and document the interests and abilities of each child in their care, and intentionally develop curriculum that is responsive to the individual child interests.