Program for Young Children
In the Program for Young Children (PYC), children are competent, powerful, complex, thoughtful, and imaginative as they actively construct theories—ways of thinking about their relationship to the world. We believe that every child is a unique individual and that children, teachers, and parents are all partners in learning.
We believe that the experiences and knowledge young children bring to school, combined with their natural curiosity, sense of wonder, and joyful exuberance, create the foundations for dynamic learning opportunities. Teachers encourage students to think creatively, solve problems, make decisions, and expand their critical thinking skills in all curricular areas. The PYC program at CSG finds its inspiration in the work of the Italian educators of Reggio Emilia.
In the PYC, ideas develop through project investigations of varying duration. Teachers follow the lead of the children by listening carefully and evaluating their conceptual understanding before challenging them to explore pathways that will provoke further investigation and stimulate the construction of new knowledge. At the beginning of an investigation, teachers evaluate the potential for student benefit and then project possible directions for discovery. As a project develops, children, teachers, and parents utilize each other’s resources and draw on the strengths of all community members. Students then generate and test their hypotheses through one of many symbolic languages such as drawing, painting, sculpture, dramatic play, and writing. Children express these languages naturally and we nurture their experiential awareness every day to support, challenge, and provoke new learning.
We believe that the classroom extends everywhere and that authentic learning experiences are the most meaningful and lasting. We value outdoor environments and opportunities to investigate the natural world. We utilize our Playscape for imaginative and creative interactions, to observe the plants and creatures that thrive there, and to scientifically chart changes over time. Field trips and community explorations support and enhance classroom learning.
The girls in the PYC have the unique advantage of being part of a larger CSG community that is filled with resources, including extraordinary facilities, a prepared and caring faculty, and the joy of older students (“big girls”) who interact with the children on a continuing basis. Exciting options and bright possibilities for the future abound every day.
In the PYC, teachers strive to understand each child’s current vision of the world and nurture her growth as a risk-taker, a problem-solver, and an extraordinary communicator. Curiosity powers the universe of a child and questions drive the learning process. The construction of knowledge requires not only questions but also reflections, mistakes, doubts, and interpretations that challenge hypotheses and lead to true understanding. In the PYC, girls have the opportunity to make meaningful connections and a context to express and develop theories. Teachers understand how girls grow and learn, intentionally creating an environment in which students develop confidence in themselves and accept the challenge to reach their full potential.
Interim Director of Program for Young Children