Image of the child: Children are capable, active participants in their own learning experiences. They have rights, and are valued, respected, contributing members of our society.
Children and relationships: Children do not learn in isolation, yet rather through interconnected, respectful and reciprocal relationships with adults and peers in their community.
Parents as partners: Parents are partners in their child’s learning, working with teachers and making connections with their children. They are welcomed into the school and families are valued for what they bring.
Teachers as investigators: Teachers are also viewed as partners in a child's learning experience. Teachers respect a child’s pace, acknowledge and support individual learning styles, and make knowledgeable observations regarding a child’s inquiries, interactions and skills. They facilitate challenges and experiential queries by asking pertinent questions that help a child understand how to develop their own learning. Teachers serve as a collaborative investigator, helping to guide a child's questions, observations, discoveries and connections.
Environment: The classroom environment is mindfully prepared. Natural objects, sensory rich materials, and open-ended “provocations” engage deep curiosity and invite play and interaction.
Emergent: Teachers work with children’s interests and ideas to develop an arc of learning through interconnected subjects. Listening closely to children’s observations and conversations helps teachers understand what concepts to explore in greater detail, in choosing relevant materials to introduce, and in creating opportunities for further understanding.
Documentation: Children use many “languages” through which they express their ideas, thoughts and observations. The recording and thoughtful displaying of dialogue, art, questions and sensory processes that children and teachers engage with, helps represent (and guide further) the thoughts and cognitive experiences of the students: with themselves, to other children, and to parents and teachers.
Community: The many facets of a specific place and space influences and informs learning. No two schools will be exactly alike, given that the human, environmental, structural, economic and cultural differences, are unique from place to place. Children are viewed as integral members of a community, not just of families, or of the school, yet of a larger, global community. Schools engage with the community to help children see themselves a part of the world, to strive to understand their impacts, and to realize/make sense of the resources around them.