Our Curriculum Philosophy

UWM Children’s Learning Center Curriculum Philosophy

At the UWM Children’s Learning Center, we believe that, from birth, all people are capable and competent. Each person is an individual who will learn and develop in a unique way. With support from caring teachers and a rich learning environment, children will learn, play, explore, create, and develop relationships.

The Children’s Learning Center curriculum is built upon the following philosophical beliefs:

  • Trusting, respectful, nurturing relationships between children and adults are essential. These caring bonds build the foundation for a classroom environment where children can take risks, learn from their mistakes, and be joyful in their learning.
  • The teacher’s role is as a facilitator and guide. As teachers support children in their problem-solving, we use a variety of teaching strategies, including modeling, providing appropriate learning materials, encouraging children’s independence, and planning teacher-led activities.
  • A play-based, hands-on, active learning environment is most appropriate for young learners. We believe that this approach, which includes the whole child, prepares children well for future success, both in school and in their lives.
  • In their exploratory play, children manipulate materials, hypothesize, test theories, repeat activities and draw conclusions.
  • In their social play, children learn how to be a member of a larger community.
  • Children will make significant choices about use of materials and activities throughout the day. They are offered opportunities to participate in individual, small group and large group experiences.
  • Teachers intentionally plan the classroom environment and experiences and provide materials to inspire learning, discovery, creativity and problem-solving.
  • Research, theory and experience in the field of education informs our practice.
  • Connections to the natural world are intrinsic to healthy growth and development. In addition to spending time outdoors, nature-based materials and experiences are provided both indoors and outside.
  • Our curriculum emerges from children’s interests, teachers’ observations and events in the lives of the children and their families.
  • The typical development of an age group, as well as the individual development of the children in a particular classroom, is used as a guide for curriculum planning. Observation, documentation and ongoing assessment of individual children and the classroom as a whole are used as the basis for curriculum planning.
  • Our curriculum reflects, values and extends the richness of the diversity of the children, staff and families in a classroom. A respect for individual differences underlies all that we do.