At a young age, children’s learning and development are greatly influenced by their surroundings, their relationships, and how they are taught to learn. At this stage in life, it is important for children to feed their own curiosities and learn at their own pace, in their own way.
The Creative Curriculum and the Teaching Strategies GOLD® help teach children to be independent in their learning and allow the teachers to evaluate the pace and style at which a child learns and accommodate for that. This style of teaching is based off of the beliefs and findings of six theorists and is meant to provide children with the necessary tools and support to learn in their own way, at their own pace, and about their interests.
At Yellow Brick Road Early Childhood Development Center, we implement the Creative Curriculum to help guide children through activities based on children’s interests. These activities are teacher-planned and child-initiated after the teacher observes the child’s interests, learning style, and personality traits.
According to Marquette University, the six theorists who developed the Creative Curriculum believed that there are certain aspects of a child’s life and education that can help them get the best care possible. T. Berry Brazelton and Abraham Maslow believed that children need basic needs met. These include safety, belonging, and esteem. Stanley Greenspan and Erik Erikson focused more on social and emotional development, which increased with children having supporting and trusting relationships with adults. Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky believed that children’s interactions with others was crucial for their cognitive development.
Together, these form the Creative Curriculum and offer many child care centers with a strategy to allow children to get the best education for them and develop in a supportive environment. These theorists beliefs combined with knowledge of child development, a child’s individual need, interests, and strengths, and social and cultural context can help create the base for your child’s education.
The Four Main Categories
The Creative Curriculum focuses on four main categories that activities, goals, and teaching styles are built around to help you child in the best possible way. These categories are:
- Social and emotional
The curriculum creates goals for each of these developmental areas, and works to get children to reach these goal and be successful in school.
Social and Emotional Goals
Everyone wants their children to grow socially—making new friends, becoming their own person, and growing in social situation. This curriculum works to help children’s social development in several ways. Children will be encouraged to be independent, gain self-confidence, and have self-control. This will also help them feel a sense of belonging and as though they are part of a group, the will feel comfortable in school, and trust their new environment.
It is important for children to learn these things at a young age, as they will all affect a child and how they develop as they grow.
Motor skills are important and a child learns both fine and gross motor skills in their early years of their life. This curriculum helps children develop these skills and helps them gain confidence in what their bodies can do.
Because the Yellow Brick Road starts caring for children at the infant stage of life and continues on to Pre-K, motor skills will be a major part of your child’s learning. These are the years that they will develop motor skills and learn what their bodies can do.
These goals are focused on a child’s thinking skills. When working on cognitive development, your children will learn how to ask questions, problem solve, and use critical thinking. They will be encouraged to try out their own ideas, think their own thoughts, and as a result experience success and use their problems solving skills. During these activities they will learn how to best express their thoughts, feelings, and observations through words.
These goals go hand-in-hand with the cognitive goals. They focus on communication and teach a child how to best communicate with others. They will learn how to listen, respond, and participate in conversations with adults and other children.
During these early years of a child’s life, they learn about letters and numbers, learn how to write and speak, and will learn how to use language in everyday life. Language skills are important for a child to learn and develop, as they will carry them throughout their entire life.
The Creative Curriculum and these developmental goals give students the ability to learn on their own and provides teachers with a structure for their classes. This curriculum is more focused on allowing children to explore what interests them rather than trying to force information into their minds.
At Yellow Brick Road, children will have time to throughout the day to explore different learning material, engage with other students, and participate in activities that focus on all of the areas above, helping them to develop better skills.
When using this curriculum, teachers have a duty to encourage independent learning, social interaction, and good communication skills. Every part of the school plays a part in your child’s development, from the way our teachers interact with them to the setup of the classroom.
Teachers will learn about each child, observing them and learning what interests them, how they learn best, and providing children with the right material and activities to continue learning. Teachers will engage with students learning and provide different activities to help them grow. Reading, conversing, singing, and discussing learning material can help with language and cognitive development.
The environment will also give your students the help they need to thrive. With a Creative Curriculum, classrooms are designed to keep your child learning, exploring, and provides enough material to allow them to do so both independently and socially.
Teachers will develop positive relationships with each child. They will create an environment that allow children to feel safe and promotes learning. Our teachers are passionate about the growth, learning, and development of your child. They encourage independence and interact with children to help facilitate growth.
Throughout the day, your children will be able to explore their own interests and also participate in group play, teaching social skills like sharing and taking turns.
While the Creative Curriculum may not be used throughout the rest of your children’s education, allowing them to get this type of education at an early age can help them in the future. They will learn how to better interact with others, how to explore their own ideas, be independent in their learning, and think critically about the world around them.
The Teaching Strategies GOLD program we use at our early childhood development center, is meant to help students develop in several different areas. Our teachers help students grow, allow them to learn in different ways, and promote exploration and independence.
If this sounds like the type of early education you want your child to have, contact us to learn more, schedule a tour, and enroll your child today. Allow your child to develop in an encouraging environment, explore their interests, and get an education that will stick with them in the future. Give your child the education they deserve, Yellow Brick Road can help.