Social Education Principles

Every child will receive a strong scholastic foundation under our highly qualified personnel (including certified kindergarten teachers), further enriched with special education support (e.g. speech therapy).
Every child will be guided by a structured curriculum with specific educational goals.
Every child will develop according to her or his own practical, educational, social and personal strengths.
Every child will grow in a safe and family-like environment that offers enhanced opportunities for cognitive development.
Every child will learn German and English, both of which have been carefully integrated into the kindergarten’s overall program.

Social Education Principles

It is the duty of the kindergarten teacher to recognize the specific needs of each child, so that each one can be responded to accordingly. Every child is to be respected, accepted and taken seriously as an independent person. When setting boundaries and regulations with both children and adults, the reasons should be justifiable and understandable.

Conflict situations between children are to be carefully observed and then approached in a constructive manner. Conflicts are to be discussed together. The children should see that their opinions count as much as those of others, and those of kindergarten staff members. There should be no rules without reasons. Only with explanations can misunderstandings be cleared up.

The kindergarten teacher should encourage children to act, think, and decide independently. Each child should have an opportunity to discover things about herself or himself everyday. The needs of the children are placed above those of the teacher and the child-care staff. We consider daily routines to be a positive influence on the everyday life of a child. This helps the child become more familiar with the daily schedule and find a feeling of peace and security in such habits. It is only when daily life is defined by predictable rhythms that children are completely free to perceive and absorb new ideas, giving them their full attention.

Outings and group walks are stimulating and pedagogically important experiences in the life of a child. We want children to develop a positive attitude towards nature and the environment. The natural world provides countless opportunities for discovering, exploring, playing and experiencing. Children should be exposed to the richness of nature and the environment, so that they can learn why the plants, animals and other things around them should all be treated with respect.

The kindergarten teacher provides children with a wide variety of interesting play materials that are appropriate to their age. A steady supply of paper, scissors, paints, glues, etc., are always available to the children. These materials will be regularly inspected, replenished and replaced.

Physical activity is the foundation for a child’s mental development. All children have a natural urge to move about, and we encourage them to express this at the Big Bear House by offering them daily opportunities for physical development through free movement, both indoors and out. This is balanced with opportunities to withdraw, enjoy a quiet moment and simply relax. Our facilities offer enough spaces for both needs.

Observation helps us become better acquainted with the children, improving our understanding of each one. This type of observation is an active, intelligent process, demanding strong awareness and empathy from the kindergarten teacher. It is not enough to just look and notice. Empathetic observation is free of expectations or labeling. With active observation, one must recognize and understand the underlying processes, developments and interrelationships.