I am a preschool teacher, working in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. My personal philosophy of EC education has evolved over the years from a thorough knowledge of child development theory and a strong desire to understand how young children think and learn. My teaching practice has been influenced significantly by three important intellectual traditions: Howard Gardner’s theory of “Multiple Intelligences”; European and American strands of “Progressive Education”; and, Piagetian and Vygotskian “Constructivist Psychologies”.
In more recent times, I have become inspired by the philosophies and practices of “Reggio Emilia” and “Te Whariki”. I believe that children learn best when experiences are personally meaningful extensions of their own interests, experiences and investigations. The curriculum should ’emerge’ directly from the children, and the children should be encouraged and supported to explore and investigate interests that they are ‘inwardly driven to face’. Children come to us equipped with many strengths, competencies and capabilities. There seems to be no limits to their imagination, creativity, curiosity and inquiry. They are typically “learning optimists”.