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The Columbus State Child Development Center’s mission is to provide a high-quality developmental program that embraces the opportunity to share in the joy of learning and discovery with children in a safe and nurturing environment.
The Center is a field site where students majoring in Early Childhood Development participate at various levels of education and training. Students learn to how to observe children during play and plan and facilitate developmentally appropriate activities under the direct supervision of Center staff
The Child Development Center’s teachers have been studying the work of the preschool educators of Reggio Emilia, Italy. The preschool programs in Reggio are internationally known for their rich learning environments, thoughtful and meaningful documentation to make learning visible, respectful interactions with children, and strong and sincere relationships with families. Participation in study groups and visitations to other Reggio-inspired programs have helped the staff better understand this approach to early childhood education.
As a result of this study, teachers have begun to be more intentional listeners and place high value on the words and ideas of the children, as well as their everyday experiences through play. Transcriptions of children’s remarks and discussions, photographs of their activities and representations of their thinking and learning using many media are displayed to document their work and theories about their world. This documentation method has several functions including making children aware that their effort is valued; making parents and other adults aware of their children’s experiences; and allowing teachers to better understand children and evaluate their own work.