Mixed Greens upholds a holistic, constructivist, child-centered and play-based approach to emergent curriculum, inspired mainly by the Reggio Emilia Approach, with aspects from Waldorf and Montessori Early Childhood Education models. Learning experiences are project based, forming and flowing in accordance with the children’s interests. It is the job of the teacher to truly get to know her students on their level and to create an environment and activities that will provoke, stimulate, and facilitate inquiry and learning in a developmentally appropriate manner. We run on the belief that the potential for learning is stunted when the endpoint is formulated in advance, so there is no pre-fabricated curriculum.
Please click here to access a CNN video clip, further explaining the Reggio Approach, and some of the reasons it so inspires our work here.
Students reach the goals of cognitive growth and educational development through child-interest based, teacher-facilitated projects. The children gain usable understandings in contexts that are meaningful to them; for example, developing early literacy through creating and reading signs to add to their own block-built city, developing understandings of physics through tube and water play, and developing the mathematical concept of 1:1 correspondence by table setting for groups in housekeeping, just to name a few. The main curricular goal of our school is guiding the children to learn how to learn: to employ inquiry in problem solving, to observe and represent, and to focus on the learning process rather than the end product.
More important than these typical educational goals, is a seemingly hidden curriculum of social learning; helping children grow and solidify the lifelong necessary skills of group collaboration, conversation, emotional recognition, responsibility, and conflict resolution. Realizing that humans are social learners, we support a respectful blend of learning about self and learning about others, helping children to realize their own personal worth as well as their significant roles within their peer group and the community at large. As present members in the early development of our future society, it is our job to create curious, competent, creative, caring, and compassionate beings who will sustain our earth and its peoples for generations to come in a peaceful way.