We know that parents have many options, and that they only want what is best for their children. There is lots of information available about what children need in the early years, and it can be confusing for families. On one hand children need play-based experiences and open-ended, creative opportunities with multiple entry points…On the other hand, parents feel increasing pressure to build skills and prepare children for school. Families feel caught in this divide, fostering an either/or mentality that is counterproductive to children’s growth and development…
At the Cullman Center, we believe there is another approach – a way for teachers and children to have it all…This approach blends best practices from some specific philosophies that are the foundation of early education, but have become less prominent over time. The Blended Approach is rooted in the theories of John Dewey, the Montessori Method and socially constructed learning experience inspired by Vygotsky’s work.
The basic beliefs of the Cullman Child Development Center philosophy are:
- All children are competent, capable, and bring a wealth of knowledge to the classroom.
- Children are always in the process of developing self-awareness as learners in friendship and as a member of a family, a culture, and a community.
- Play-based experiences take many forms.
- Children need opportunities for discovery and play, as well as guidance, modeling, and support to be successful learners and develop positive identity.
The preschool classrooms at the Cullman Center utilize the Montessori Method. These classrooms are in session on the school calendar from 8:00am to noon, and they are each led by a certified Montessori teacher.
We value Montessori education because it offers children opportunities to develop their potential. Children leave the Montessori classroom as engaged, competent, responsible, and respectful citizens with an understanding and appreciation that learning is for life.