University Children’s Centre programs are designed to facilitate, stimulate and maximize a child's intellectual, physical, social and emotional development and are based on the philosophy of "learning through play". We believe that children learn through their active participation in a variety of experiences.
Each classroom environment is organized to accommodate large group, small group, and individual play. Activities are planned to enhance language and literacy, social interactions, movement and music, fine and gross motor skills as well as cognitive development.
The programs which are created by the children and the teaching staff follow an Emergent Curriculum approach. That is, curriculum that is constantly growing and evolving with the experiences of the children and the teachers.
- While framed by the teacher, it is child initiated, allowing for collaborations between children and teachers, and giving everyone a voice.
- It is responsive to the child, thereby allowing teachers to build upon existing interests.
- In its practice, the teacher takes on the role of facilitator, taking what is seen and heard, and bringing to the children the opportunity to discover more, dig deeper, and construct further knowledge.
- It is flexible in that curriculum planning, rather than being done well in advance, is constantly developing. Curriculum is dynamic, neither stagnant nor repetitive.
- It enables children’s learning and teachers’ thinking to be made visible through varied forms of documentation.
- It builds upon the theories of the recognized theorists in the field of Early Childhood: the work of Dewey, Piaget, and Vygotsky supports the practice of emergent curriculum (Stacey, 2008).