Philosophy & Curriculum

The Kent State University Child Development Center's philosophy is grounded in social constructivism. We believe knowledge is constructed through an active process of inquiry that prioritizes exploration, communication, meaningful relationships and play. We draw daily inspiration from the Reggio Emilia approach and have implemented the International Baccalaureate Primary Years framework into our curricular and pedagogical practices.

In 2018, we became an International Baccalaureate World School. The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) for children aged 3-12 nurtures and develops young students as caring, active participants in a lifelong journey of learning. Through its inquiry-led, transdisciplinary framework, the PYP challenges students to think for themselves and take responsibility for their learning as they explore local and global issues and opportunities in real-life contexts. Learn more about the Primary Years Programme.

Our approach is based on the following premises:

  • Children are capable, competent, and knowledgeable.
  • Learning is both joyful and challenging.
  • Active and invested participation supports the development of negotiation and reflection.
  • Authentic opportunities for service and social action support the development of empathy and responsibility.
  • Indoor and outdoor environments are intentionally designed to support children’s capacity for collaborative, long-term inquiries.
  • Time spent outdoors is essential to children’s wellbeing and promotes care and stewardship.
  • Listening is a central role of the adult and is practiced through the on-going study of children's ideas and investigations.
  • Families are partners in the teaching and learning process.
  • Respect is accorded to all community members through a commitment to open-mindedness and acceptance.
  • The diversity of our classrooms, our families, and our communities is our greatest asset.