It is important to encourage play and let students experiment with objects they readily find in nature and at home. When students play, they problem solve, and ask questions; questions promote learning. Play helps develop a wide range of skills, create questions, and encourages a sense of wonder.
My philosophy is a mixture of the Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and The Project Approaches. I think it is important for students to learn skills that are transferable from the classroom and used within their homes. This aspect of transferable skills comes from the Montessori approach.
The Reggio Emilia approach, understands students are competent individuals, which I believe. Students bring their own insights and ideas into class and can teach others (and me, as their teacher), different perspectives. At the heart of the Reggio Emilia approach is the idea that students need to explore, touch, move, experiment and be involved in their learning. Students learn with a hands-on approach and discover the world in a meaningful way. When students are involved, their natural curiosity is engaged and learning grows exponentially. The classroom environment is deemed as the “third teacher”, which is why everything should be nature based. I believe nature is the greatest teacher of all and needs to be prevalent in the classroom. My classroom would include a worm bin, plants, fountain, and collection of natural items as they all have lessons to teach.
Students learn what interests them with The Project Approach. If the subject grabs the students imagination they are driven and motivated to learn and discover. I believe that students should learn by doing and field trips are an excellent teaching tool to help students make connections. Regina Outdoor Education takes classes out into areas around the city and teaches about nature, science, history and the environment, in a fun and meaningful way. Being outside and exploring the world reinforces lessons taught in the classroom. Field trips allow deeper understanding of topics, where students gain greater understanding and connections to interesting ideas.