The DoDEA Early Childhood philosophy encompasses preschool through grade three. We believe that early childhood programs involve a community of learners with a commitment to the education of young children.
The guiding principles that underscore DoDEA's commitment to all young children are:
- Young children learn and construct knowledge as a result of meaningful and purposeful experiences.
- Optimal development in young children takes place in an environment where collaboration with others, discussing, analyzing, and developing personal meaning through application of what is being learned is encouraged and facilitated.
- Young children reach different levels of learning and development at different times.
- Learning in the early childhood years develops on a continuum.
- Learning is both individual and social and takes place within a social/cultural context.
- Play is an integral part of quality programs serving young children.
- Skills and concepts are developed and enhanced through child-initiated and teacher-initiated activities.
- Programs for young children must provide opportunities for individual activities and flexible groupings.
- Young children should be involved with the teacher in planning, implementing, and evaluating their learning experiences
- The dignity of young children and their personal circumstances and diversity must be respected and affirmed.
- Families of young children are essential partners in the educational process.
- Children are best served in a safe, nurturing, and inclusive environment
- Developmentally appropriate assessment of young children's learning is essential for planning and implementing appropriate curriculum and celebrating children's learning.
- Program practices for young children must reflect sound research and findings about young children and learning.