We are a developmental, discovery oriented program, deeply committed to individualized, child centered learning.

Our philosophy is based on the principles of Jean Piaget, John Dewey and Maria Montessori, believing that children are naturally curious, and when given time and the opportunity to explore their own interests, develop their own unique talents and strengths.

The teachers at Sherwood are devoted professionals, trained in early childhood education. We are not successful in our daily mission of excellence in early learning unless you understand our goals and developmentally appropriate practices.


WHAT IS A PIAGETIAN PROGRAM?

Jean Piaget was a Swiss psychologist who concluded that children actively create, or “construct”, knowledge of the physical world from their experiences when they go beyond what they already know. Piaget is widely know as the “father” of early childhood education, and “constructivism”. How is new knowledge acquired?

A Piagetian school knows that children learn by encountering problems they feel compelled to solve, experiencing emotions such as puzzlement, curiosity, surprise and frustration, and engaging in the intellectual and emotional work of overcoming obstacles to solve those compelling ‘problems’. It is through this process that children make the mental connections that are the construction of knowledge or intelligence.

The role of the educator is to provide the children with an environment that makes this possible. The child’s interest must be engaged, and the learning process must be infused with excitement about learning. The teacher’s knowledge about the child’s interests influences curriculum activities, materials, and observation of the child’s intrinsic interests. Building the day around the child’s successes in solving problems involves encouragement and support all day long. This context of mutual respect means that children respect their teachers and peers, and can feel free to experiment, to make mistakes, and to share thoughts and discoveries together.