THE DOGWOOD SCHOOL

8 Dogwood Drive  ·  Chester, NJ 07930  ·  908-879-7477

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"It's a happy talent to know how to play."    RALPH WALDO EMERSON

OUR APPROACH

Our unique approach, a World of Learning, is a combination of best-practices taken from well known programs such as Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio Emilia. It also draws on current research topics like brain development, whole child and multiple intelligences, as well as other regional practices from around the world and our own experiences and beliefs. While we believe that many of these approaches have made outstanding contributions, we’ve found no single approach that fully addresses all the complexities of early childhood education.

While our approach is simple in concept, the impact is profound as we have a wider range of tools and techniques that we use for educating young children. This translates into a truly individualized approach. It also sets the tone for a dynamic, innovative school culture oriented around continuously improving the educational experiences of young children.  


Our approach is best understood by our philosophy in four vital areas: The Child, The Environment, The Teacher, and The Parents.

The Child

We believe that every child holds special gifts and unique perspectives that need to be discovered, shared, and valued. It is our goal to design and facilitate pleasurable and stimulating experiences for children so that they may develop and share their special gifts and unique perspectives. We believe that if a child’s early childhood experiences are pleasurable and stimulating, they are more likely to develop a lasting enjoyment for learning. More than any academic goal, we feel that the transition of children into “lifelong learners” while building self-esteem should be the ultimate objective of any quality early childhood program.

The Environment

John Dewey, once referred to as “The Father of Education," believed a carefully prepared home-like environment is optimal for creating a climate of emotional security, the first principle of education. Once a child feels secure in their environment they will feel free to interact and explore their world, thus accelerating their growth. Before any meaningful and significant learning can occur, the child must feel secure. The environment also plays a critical role in our program as the third teacher. That is, by carefully preparing the environment with interesting, engaging, and educational materials and experiences, children will be motivated to interact and experiment in that environment and learn more than in the traditional approach of teacher lecture. 

 

 

The Teacher 

We believe that the role of the teacher is to make it possible for every child to progress to their fullest social, creative, and intellectual potential while promoting self-esteem. Our teachers make reference to children’s positive traits, compliment children on a daily basis, and tailor their teaching approach to a child’s unique personality and learning style. They are also keen observers who look for patterns of interest within the classroom so that they can tailor lessons and activities according to these interests to make learning more meaningful and enjoyable.

Relationships with Parents

We believe that teachers and parents need to work together for the benefit of the child and community in general. Parenthood, like childhood, is a journey of discovery. We believe as educators, we should act as a resource for parents and should communicate information about early childhood to them through ongoing parent teacher contact, parent workshops, and a library of resources accessible to them. Our goal is for parents to feel welcome in our school and never feel threatened or intimidated.