The ELC at NKU embraces the constructivist position. This position posits that children learn when they are engaged both physically and cognitively, with objects, people, and events. The program has a developmental focus which grants each child the opportunity to grow and learn at his or her own pace. The planned environments offer purposeful activities that support and encourage growth and exploration in math, science, literacy, music, art, as well as social skills, all which provide a solid foundation for entering elementary school. The programs design reflects the belief that quality early childhood education based on constructivist assumptions involves constant interaction between and among the environment, the child, the teacher and the family.
In the constructivist view:
Schedules are flexible to meet the unique needs of the individual child. Children are fed when hungry, sleep when tired and are changed as needed. Teachers encourage the toddlers to move toward independence by supportin their attempts to self-feed, use the toilet and dress themselves. The daily program invites the young child to play and actively explore the environment during waking hours. Opportunities for outdoor play are included in the daily routine.
Teachers engage in frequent one-to-one interactions with each child throughout the day to encourage language, social, and emotional development. Included are opportunities for children to observe and interact with each other.
Parents and teachers communicate daily to share important information. Parents are also encouraged to participate in the daily program, as their schedule allows.
Play activities include music and movement, reading stories, sensory play (with water, play dough, sand), play with toys that stimulate intellectual and motor development, experiences with appropriate non-toxic art media and pretend play.