Which educational philosophy is best for your child?
Discovery Child Development Center is a project-based school that utilizes a constructivist/social constructivist approach to education. It is important to find a philosophy and approach to education that is a good fit for your child and your family when selecting a preschool. We will compare two of those here, constructivist and Montessori.
Constructivism - In this philosophy, students are actively involved in their learning. Through experiences knowledge is constructed. Constructivism roots are found in the work of Jean Piaget on cognitive development. Piaget theorized that children pass through 4 distinct cognitive phases of development and through active experiences, they acquire new knowledge. As children, interact with their environment, knowledge is shaped.
Lev Vygotsky similarly emphasized hands-on interactions with one's environment, but his theory placed a much greater emphasis on the social aspect of learning. His approach is known as social constructivism. For, Vygotsky interactions with others builds knowledge. Vygotsky saw learning as a collaborative process. He describe a Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) where learners reach the next level of mastery through working on tasks that our just beyond their current abilities with the support of a teacher or mentor.
Montessori - The Montessori method was created by Maria Montessori when she opened the first Montessori school in Rome, Italy in 1907. Montessori methods focus on children directing their own learning and are given freedom to select activities. Students receive large segments of uninterrupted work time in Montessori classrooms. Montessori classrooms are traditionally mixed-age classrooms. There are specific prepared materials students in Montessori classrooms utilize.
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