Statement of Philosophy
The Second Presbyterian Weekday School was founded in 1954, making it one of the oldest early childhood facilities in the Louisville area. The school, established as an outreach ministry to this community, is nonsectarian in that we serve children of all denominations. While the school has grown and changed over the years, its founding philosophy remains firmly intact. The early years of development critically affect a child’s educational success. Second Presbyterian Weekday School welcomes the opportunity to provide a quality program for children in our community.
The educational philosophy is based on meeting the developmental dimensions of the whole child — physical, emotional, social, cognitive, moral, and creative development. Knowledge of how children grow and what they can do at different stages of development enables adults to understand these varying stages and plan accordingly with concrete, firsthand experiences.
Second Presbyterian Weekday School offers a developmentally appropriate eclectic program that recognizes that each child is a unique person with individual patterns of growth, individual preferences for experiences, varying learning styles, and different family backgrounds. Learning experiences are based on Jean Piaget’s philosophy that children “learn by doing” and his theories of how children think and learn. The theories of Erik Erikson provide a helpful framework for understanding how important it is for the environment to encourage both autonomy and self-control. We also adhere to many principles set forth by Maria Montessori such as her emphasis on respect for each other and the environment by encouraging active self-directed learning and striking balance of individual mastery with small group experience within the whole group community. We also have been profoundly inspired by the preschools in Reggio Emilia, Italy (pronounced red’jO AmE’lya) propelling us to promote emergent curriculum and the project approach. As a faculty we have studied and utilized many of the components of the Reggio approach: promoting inquiry, connecting children’s ideas to their understanding through research and experience, documentation of the children’s work via photographs, art representations, written and verbal descriptions. All of this is done while promoting children’s critical thinking skills and collaborating with one another. Each of these approaches has something to offer us in our efforts to create programs for real childhoods. By setting clear, age-appropriate expectations for behavior and by letting children know what is expected of them, teachers can engender success and minimize frustration. Children’s concerns about doing things exactly “right” diminish because they are encouraged to learn from their mistakes, to explore, and to take risks.
At Second Presbyterian Weekday School, we value and respect each individual child. By focusing on the whole child, both parents and teachers help to create a partnership for enhancing a sense of wonder, discovery and life long learning. This is a fleeting glance into childhood and into our program. This, the work in which the program’s teachers share so vitally with you the parents, is the proving ground for the child’s tomorrow.