Cognitive-based Philosophy

Approaches to Early Learning
Cognitive Based Philosophy

In cognitive-based programs, young children learn through active exploration in an environment which is rich in materials and opportunities to converse, socialize, work, play, and negotiate with others.

Classrooms are planned to encourage curiosity, exploration, and problem solving in an atmosphere of warmth, affection, and respect for each child.

Teachers plan experiences based on children's interests and appropriate educational concepts.

This includes:

  • A daily schedule of planned activities - both play-based and teacher-led
  • Hands-on learning through active exploration
  • Activities based on children's interests

Children may work individually or collaboratively, and may choose whether or not to participate in a project.

Children are actively involved in experiences which include foundations of math, science, social studies, creative art, language arts, music, movement and dramatic play.

All interrelated aspects of the child's growth and development are considered - intellectual, social, emotional, physical and creative.

Activities, experiences and teacher-child interactions are constantly being measured and evaluated in terms of the following program goals:

  • 1 Development of a positive self-concept
  • 2 Respect for the individuality and rights of others
  • 3 Positive ways of interacting with peers and adults
  • 4 Acceptance and expression of both positive and negative feelings
  • 5 Growth of independence and self-sufficiency
  • 6 Growth of creative thinking and problem solving
  • 7 Cognitive growth and development
  • 8 Emergent literacy development
  • 9 Small and large muscle development

** Please note that inclusion on this list does not imply any recommendation by CNE or its sponsors/supporters. Also, none of these program perspectives are exclusive - early learning can incorporate elements of different approaches to meet the needs of children and families.