Burke Mountain Preschool is inspired by Maria Montessori and the Reggio Emilia
philosophy and it is based on a Tribes principles. By incorporating an inspiring principle
in our program, our goal is to offer a program that nurtures the love of learning, provides
a sense of curiosity, and respect for self and others. We believe that children are
independent learners who want to learn different things at different times and in different
ways. We try to foster their learning styles by offering a broad variety of activities. It is each childʼs choice to participate in activities, or, if they choose to, they can pass. We foster childrenʼs learning through play. We believe that without play, optimal learning, normal social functions, self-control, and other executive functions may not mature properly. In play, we learn how to deal with lifeʼs wins and losses with grace. The best thing we can give our children is self-control. Preschool childrenʼs ability to resist temptation is a much better predictor of eventual academic success than their IQ scores. We promote self-control not by making children sit still, but by encouraging them to play. One of the major ways that children adapt to their circumstances is through play.
We promote learning through simple science experiments where children can explore
their own ideas. By incorporating childrenʼs ideas in our curriculum, we show them that
their words and ideas are important. By answering open-ended questions, children
become independent thinkers, problem solvers and risk takers. More importantly, they
will have a love for learning, an excitement about life, and self-confidence that will be a
foundation for success and growth for the rest of their lives.
A very important part of our day is reflections, when understanding usually happens.
Reflection is a wise bird who can describe just what she saw or heard while children
worked together. We would welcome all of you to participate in our morning circle and
reflections at the end of the day, to watch your children grow.
Our focus is on childrenʼs art not craft. We believe that creative art is a language for
children, and they have to be encouraged to freely express their ideas. We never make
models for children and we never judge what they make.
“I paint things as I think them, not as I see them.” -Pablo Picaso
What is Tribes?
Tribes is a democratic group process.The outcome of the Tribe process is to develop a
positive environment that promotes human growth and learning. In our preschool, we
follow the Tribes Agreements:
Appreciation/no put downs
The right to PASS
The right to participant
The mission of Tribes is to assure the healthy and whole development of every
child, so that each has the knowledge, skills, and resiliency to be successful in a
rapidly changing world.
Resiliency is the capacity to survive, to progress through difficulty, to bounce back, and
to move on positively, again and again in life.
In a Tribes classroom, everyone is included and everyone is respected. As a preschool
in new developing area, we have a goal to build more than a preschool, but a place
where new families moving to the community can meet each other, and maybe become
life long friends.
What is Montessori?
Montessori education is a formula, an aid to life promoting growth to the fullest
potential. Following the vision of this extraordinary mathematician, doctor, and
educator, we understand that education is a process – it is not a goal. It is a search for
truth, not the truth itself. Montessori said: “Education is not what a teacher gives, it is a
natural process spontaneously carried out by the individual, and is acquired not by
listening to words, but by experiences upon the environment.”
What is the Reggio Emilia Approach?
The Reggio approach suggests new possibilities of developing skills, knowledge
and attitudes in children that could help them become more competent adults
and life-long learners. This approach demonstrates a powerfully strong and
unconditional respect for children and their ideas, and encourages all involved to be
thinkers, creators, communicators, and collaborators as they become more thoughtful
and reflective. The teacher is a facilitator of learning. The role of the teacher as a
facilitator is to imagine future, possible experiences or activities while trying to stay with
the spirit of the childʼs interests, feelings, and areas of pursuit.
Ateliers in Reggio Emilia schools promote creative art as a language for children.