Not all children learn at the same pace, and not every child learns the same way. However, there’s a significant body of knowledge that attests to the value and effectiveness of active learning to improve the learning curve – the time taken by young children to understand and acquire new skills and knowledge. Experienced care providers at the Bethesda child care center encourage active learning among their students as a means to deliver new and enjoyable learning experiences.
Understanding Kid’s Learning Approaches
Trained early childhood educators (ECEs) working in the Bethesda child care system, know that each kid learns differently, and have a “unique” learning strategy of their own. Across learning age groups, from day care to kindergarten, and from elementary, secondary, and higher learning, young minds use varying learning approaches, including:
- Watching and observing
- Hearing and listening
- Doodling, scribbling, or making notes
- Mimicking and doing what teachers do
Young children may not consciously deploy those strategies but, subconsciously, it’s how they cope with acquiring new skills and understanding new knowledge. Young children, enrolled at any of the Bethesda child care center programs, will have the opportunity to embrace their unique learning styles to gain new skills and learn new subjects.
Making Active Learning Work
Whether it’s at preschool, during an outdoor summer camp event, or in a school-age classroom setting, students attending Bethesda day care constantly encounter new materials and subject matter. ECE at the center provide ample time, opportunity, and space for the kids to initially explore the new materials by themselves. Then, they’ll guide the kids, along with their peers and cohorts, into group exploration and discovery.
Because each learner may have a different learning style, as determined by the VARK Model, to make active learning work, ECEs with the Center watch how children use all their senses to familiarize themselves with the new concepts. It might be a new game, a novel math concept, or an interesting observation during a nature walk – seasoned teaching and care staff constantly encourage the use of experimentation and investigation.
Learning experiences are organized around engaging learning projects which encourage young minds to explore and investigate the subject matter at hand. Typically, teacher/care-giver interventions are only enacted to further that sense of self exploration and active learning. By giving young kids the leeway to actively “learn by doing” and “learn through discovery”, children learn faster – and have more fun – than when learning under a rigid instructor delivered and enforced learning session.
Learning in Their Own Style
Within the MCCA preschool programs, children attending a Bethesda day care center learn under the guidelines of the Creative Curriculum®. Approved by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), the curriculum encourages an interactive, play-based approach for preschoolers, aged 2 to 5, to learn based on individual needs.
And for school age children, aged between 5 to 12-years, the Centers further encourage personal learning styles as a means to learn and explore new and interesting topics. And it’s not just about “individualism”. Because these young children must ultimately integrate into the broader school system, and the communities they live in, Bethesda child care specialists also work tirelessly to ensure active learning occurs in cooperative and constructive group settings.