To promote and sustain children’s innate drive and enthusiasm for learning, children must have time to explore and wonder about their world. Research also tells us that learning is optimized when it is connected to children’s interests and experiences. The Master Teachers of the UD Lab School share children’s excitement for learning and encourage children to question, develop theories and explore the world around them. They recognize that children learn by doing – talking, writing, listening, reading, exploring, manipulating and interacting with materials and concepts. So we assure that children spend their days in our classrooms, outdoor learning environments and in the community actively engaged in learning.
We embrace the understanding that learning occurs in different ways and at different rates for each child. We intentionally plan for these differences with families. Families are invited to share their goals for their child and their child’s interests, strengths, needs and prior experiences with their child’s teacher. Teachers then gather additional information through careful observation, thoughtful interactions and informal assessment of each child each day. Then, with this shared knowledge of the child and the teacher’s expertise in early development and learning, play-based learning environments are created with each child in mind.
The Laboratory Preschool serves over 80 children ages 21 months through 6 years in different programs during the school year.