The Lab School’s program is based upon a constructivist approach to learning. This approach is both developmentally appropriate and intellectually oriented. By definition, the developmentally appropriate curriculum meets the needs of each child and accommodates children’s different learning styles. Activities stimulate and engage each child for learning. When children are given choices of developmentally appropriate activities, they are able to pursue endeavors that have personal meaning.
In accordance with the MSDE Accreditation, Onica Prall has adopted The Creative Curriculum for Preschool, an award-winning curriculum for preschool success. Using exploration and discovery as a way of learning, The Creative Curriculum for Preschool enables children to develop confidence, creativity and lifelong critical thinking skills.
Both the constructivist approach and The Creative Curriculum emphasize an environment where activities are meaningful for the learner. Onica Prall’s program is one in which teachers facilitate an environment with carefully planned activities that actively engage children’s senses, and language that allows for differing levels of development in order to foster all areas: physical, cognitive, social, and emotional. While teachers focus on children’s individual needs, they also build children’s abilities to work as a group. As a child’s world expands from family, to neighborhood, to school, that world becomes more complex. Young children need support in acquiring the social and thinking skills necessary to navigate a more challenging world populated by new children, adults and experiences.
Curriculum components are organized using a thematic framework. Activities in art, fine and gross motor development, language and literacy, mathematics, music, science, STEM and symbolic play are offered. A thematic format promotes multiple opportunities for exploration and acquisition of concepts and skills using different sensory channels and building upon children’s prior knowledge. It gives children the opportunity to compare and contrast aspects of their new experiences with their current understanding.