The Ambrose Family Center Preschool follows the Project Construct curriculum which is approved by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Through "hands-on, minds on experiences", children in our Project Construct classrooms attain deep understandings in the core content areas while learning to work collaboratively with others and to be life-long problem solvers, critical thinkers and innovators.
The Project Construct philosophy is based on 4 principles of child development and related practices:
1. Children have an intrinsic desire to make sense of the world. What they genuinely need to know and are genuinely interested in drives their learning.
2. Children actively construct knowledge and values based on the physical and social world. Because their thoughts are still closely tied to action, they require a physically and mentally active learning environment.
3. In their struggle to understand the world, young children's thinking will contain predictable errors.
4. Developmental areas are interactive and interrelated, each influencing the others. It is within the social environment that intelligence and language are fostered.
It is through questioning, deep listening and conversation that our teachers engage in collaborative inquiry to deepen and extend the children's' thinking. To learn more about Project Construct, please visit their website.
"PATH" is a curriculum process created by the staff at the Ambrose Family Center Preschool. PATH is a purposeful way to document, plan and account for constructivist learning. It is a co-constructed curriculum approach in which teachers form a community of learners with children, parents and other teachers with the intent of children leading and informing the learning and design of future work. Such learning shifts from a study of facts to a study of meaning. PATH supplants the traditional lesson plans and lesson planning process with a way to design and account for "negotiated learning" from a spontaneous learning encounter that comes from an ordinary moment in the classroom, to expand investigations that lead to ambitious long term projects with full emotional engagement; all the while being accountable to curriculum and assessment standards as well as state and national standards for early learning.
PATH brings forward the wisdom of teachers, rooted in collegial relations and dialogue, and evidenced in collective reflection and analysis of documentation shared at planning meetings. PATH is central to the professional growth of teachers as it is inherently co-emergent in the PATH process. Implementation of PATH building-wide brings forward a collaborative culture within the entire learning community; a place where children, families and teachers not only take part but become part of a culture of learning that promotes and celebrates the potential of each child to provoke, innovate and transform their world.
Each classroom's PATH is displayed in the classroom to allow parents/guardians to contribute and further become a part of their child's learning by extending the classroom focus and experiences at home.
The educational philosophy of the Ambrose Family Center embraces the work of educators in Reggio Emilia, Italy, who have developed a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to early childhood education for their community. Hailed as the best preschools in the world by Newsweek magazine in 1991, the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education has attracted the worldwide attention of educators, researchers and those interested in early childhood best practices. We are grateful for the opportunity to study in Italy, engaging with other educators through shared dialogues and initiatives. This dialogue in Reggio Emilia has helped us to create deeper understandings about learning, further defining and giving shape to our work with children, their families and with one another.
The Reggio Emilia approach is a philosophy that strengthens our child-orientated/teacher-facilitated curriculum and offers new insight and understanding into the image of the child image as being full of intelligence, curiosity and wonder. More information on the Reggio Emilia approach can be found on their website.