The EAV philosophy is guided by the following principles which inform our academic work and social interaction with children, families, and staff.
We learn through inquiry, relevance, and reflection. Students gain skills and understanding both through open play and structured instructional opportunities. The classroom environment and the physical school grounds stimulate exploration and experimentation, problem solving and negotiation, communication and collaboration driving cognitive, social emotional learning and creative expression. We give young people the opportunity to co-construct and engage in learning activities that permit and facilitate imaginative construction of an understanding of the world around them. We want them to wonder and ask “What if?”
We use a process of inviting and sustaining learning that leads to an emergent and integrated interdisciplinary curriculum that is flexible enough to take advantage of student interest and “teachable moments.” Theme based projects provide narrative and structure to the delivery of the academic program. We also want to document the student’s learning journey as a way to capture and archive personal learning growth and individual socio-emotional development. We guide children to assume ownership of their own work and empower them to engage in understanding the learning process. At EAV, we focus on developing the whole child, where developmental and learning differences are respected and activities and materials are adult-curated to engage a wide range of learners. Children participate in mixed age groups that foster caring, community and flexibility for preschoolers in different stages of learning.
We encourage voice and choice. We respect student generated ideas and expression of personal feelings. We are committed to cosmopolitanism, the idea that we all belong to a single community based on a shared morality and can learn to respect each other despite our differences. Ultimately, we want to create global citizens that can communicate across cultures and society. EAV students can think globally and act locally to contribute to the overall well being of their communities and the world. We want to foster from an early age students that can engage in cross cultural inquiry and want to connect with people and find out more about them.
We value parent partnerships. The school-home connection is very important and we view parents as primary caregivers and educators of their children. Thus, we ask parents to actively participate in the learning by designing activities that promote partnership and communication. Parents and teachers exchange information daily. Parents are periodically invited to participate in individual and small group conferences, social events, and workshops.
We believe developing healthy human relationships must underlie everything that we do. Research shows that relationships are at the heart of child development and student learning. Teachers use developmentally and individually appropriate methods that take into consideration children’s differing enthusiasms, needs, styles, and abilities. We develop a culture of caring that permeates everything we do because we seek to to get to intricately know our students and celebrate who they are and how they contribute to our community.
We respect children’s sense of time. In a world that is information rich and hyper connected we want children to slow down, observe the world and listen. We want them to learn how to contemplate the world around them. We work with flexible schedules and we take into consideration the rhythms and pace of each individual student.