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Our Lineage

Our philosophy is rooted in the social constructivist learning theory articulated by Lev Vygotsky that centers learning as a social experience in relationship and in the context of community.  We are inspired by the work with young children and families in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and the research focused on learning at Harvard University’s Project Zero that recognizes the many learning styles and languages of expression of children and children's competence as learners. 


We take a hands-on, experiential approach to learning in our child centered, play based program, with roots of inspiration from early educators Bev Bos and Teacher Tom, whose work is grounded in deep respect for children as active protagonists in their own learning.  

We hold a social justice stance in working with children, families, staff and our larger community. We draw understanding and knowledge of anti-bias work with young children, teachers, and families from Britt Hawthorne, an anti-racism educator and the work of Early Childhood Educators Louise Derman-Sparks, Debbie Lee Keenan, John Nimmo.


Our Democratic Learning community is grounded in the foundational work of American educator John Dewey and continues to evolve as we consider how to practice democracy as a school community in the current context. Our social learning is informed by the practice of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and we bring this framework into our conflict resolution processes with children and the adults into our community, and our support of children’s social emotional learning. 

Magda Gerber was a passionate advocate for both children and parents. She inspired us to recognize babies as whole people from birth who deserve our respect and should be welcomed into the world as “honored guests.” The transformative lens she offered and the respect for babies she taught and modeled for us have made caring for our children easier, more intriguing, and profoundly more rewarding. 

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