The Co-op is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to Early Childhood Education. The Reggio approach encourages the involvement of family and community in the process of raising children. The Co-op is a natural setting for this approach. The Co-op is a place for children to live their childhoods.At the Co-op, we believe that projects should be child centered and follow the children’s interest. It is our position that children are inquisitive researchers and staff and parents are the facilitators of their learning process. After observation of the children’s play, teachers will design a curriculum based on what the children’s interests are in order to enhance and provoke further instigation for their learning. This learning process could last weeks with many returns over the year. The Co-op provides a place for activities and relationships, enabling the co-construction of knowledge and identity.
Each year the curriculum content changes to meet the needs of the children. Each classroom chooses long term investigations stemming from the children’s interest. We strive to provide children with tools and resources for exploring, researching, negotiating and problem solving. One constant in our curriculum for every classroom is the study of art mediums. This year the long term focus will be on using clay as a flat medium which will culminate in an outdoor mural made from clay tiles made by all the children and parents in the center and supported by a grant from Lane County Arts Council. Children will also be given the skills and the proper tools to learn how to paint, watercolor and draw. The skill level advances as each child moves up through the classrooms. Each year the teachers choose one to two provocations to explore long term in the classroom.