Our Guiding Principles

Children are joyous, curious, full of wonder, experimenters and explorers. We want them to stay that way. We aim to keep this belief at the core of the work we do at Growing Seeds. Our educational philosophy is guided by ourRotating6 belief that you must provide developmentally appropriate practices for children based on their individual and larger community needs. The needs of the individual and the needs of the group are not seen as separate, but as interdependent and interactive. At Growing Seeds, children learn from hands-on experiences that are intentionally provided by teachers who are skilled observers. We provide an assortment of natural materials, provocations and proposals to invite children to make connections between facts and hands-on investigation. We trust that children are capable and support them to initiate in their environment, viewing them as competent, powerful individuals who have the right to explore. We believe that children are social beings. Children enter the culture of their family at birth and have the opportunity to create a culture within their classroom while at Growing Seeds. This socio-cultural perspective of human development stresses that we are each unique in our cognitive development and as such there are not universal ways to characterize children everywhere and within every developmental realm. We believe in the capabilities of human beings to arrive at understandings of the world in their own time and place, with an emphasis on creating those understandings from and with other social beings. Creating this unique culture of peers and teachers while at school allows for the growth of the unique social self. This growth and development happens in conjunction with the growth of peers. In fact, we believe that children will integrate other's understandings with their own, and form mental connections and brain functions as part of being with others. Children and teachers produce their own important theories which possess value and meaning for the group. We consider this the social construction of knowledge. Social engagement is a powerful force in transforming children's thinking and understanding. As teachers and as keen and careful observers of these social interactions, we look and listen closely for childrenĀ“s emerging interests. We facilitate the development of a project through our observations and reflections of the group. In our work with children, the end result of a project cannot be envisioned at the beginning, because we do not yet have enough information about the children's ideas and theories. Through the use of many languages, children will further develop their theories about the world. The thoughtful questioning and reflection upon the childrenĀ“s responses, allowing processing time for ideas to emerge and reflection amongst teaching teams, are essential to the development of these theories. We have found that the use of multiple instructional approaches optimizes children's opportunities for learning. We are guided by a combination of philosophies including RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers), Reggio Emilia, and Constructivism.