How do we compare?
Our Kids 'R' Kids curriculum is founded upon the educational theories of Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, and Sara Smilansky. These three educational theorists guide our decisions for age appropriate learning experiences for children. Our schools are designed so that children learn through peer and teacher interaction in a creative and safe environment as put forth by Vygotsky's theories of the development of the young mind. Our curriculum scaffolds teaching strategies for every classroom age grouping using Piaget's framework of proposed stages in a child's developing ability to learn. Finally, we believe in Smilansky's teachings of learning through play. Our curriculum includes a plethora of playtime both outside and in the classroom, giving the children the freedom to create and explore their world.
All of these child development theorists agree young children learn best by taking an active part in constructing meaning from the world around them. Another proponent of educational constructivism is the Montessori method of teaching. Though similar in philosophy to Vygotsky, Piaget, and Smilansky's methods, the Montessori approach to education has some unique differences. Listed is a comparative chart between Kids 'R' Kids'teaching philosophy and those attributed to the Montessori teaching method for young children.
|Kids 'R' Kids Learning Academies||Montessori|
|Motto: Hug First, then Teach||Motto: Respect of the Child|
|Nurturing prepared environment with center-based activities||Nurturing prepared environment similar to home-living set up|
|Balance of teacher-directed and child-initiated activities during a typical day following a predictable schedule||Predominantly child directed choices of activities available referred to as "child's work" without specific scheduled routines|
|Accredited curriculum by AdvancED based on developmental milestones of motor and verbal skills achievement by age||Holistic curriculum dealing with all aspects of young child's acquisition of knowledge|
|Standards-based curriculum linked to national and state Pre-K Requirement standards||Skill acquisition is based on sensitive periods of learning by individual child|
|Children grouped by age in six months increments||Mixed age groups|
|Each day has specific teaching plans and scheduled routines||Each day is driven by self interest of child with minimal interruptions|
|Large and small group planned activities to engage children||Children urged to follow own interest and move at own pace|
|Staff of teachers exceed annual state training requirements||AMI, AMS Certification preferred|
|Achievement assessment by specific learning goal with progress tracking in addition to anecdotal and portfolio evidence||Assessment by anecdotal observations and portfolio evidence|
|Use of assessment tools for first grade readiness||Children need to make transition into more traditional setting when leaving program|