Our Philosophy

Philosophy

The philosophy of the Early Learning Centre (ELC) is based on an image of children as creative, capable and intrinsically motivated to explore and discover their world. Through active engagement in free and structured imaginative play children employ a range of complex networks of abilities, interests and symbolic languages. Engagement in diverse forms of play fosters the development of a spirit of curiosity experimentation and discovery with children being supported to develop their thinking and understandings, fine and gross motor skills, language, personal and social awareness, emotional well-being and creativity.

To realize the potential of all children, the ELC provides a nurturing, secure and stimulating play-based learning environment, one that promotes happiness and a desire to learn. At the core of the philosophy is a commitment to the establishment of a dynamic culture of thinking where children and teachers explore ‘big ideas’ that promote and sustain long term inquiries.

The ELC's philosophy incorporates the idea of the social construction of knowledge, which relies on the establishment of relationships between children and teachers and children and children. It also recognizes that children mature at different rates and have preferred styles of learning. Teachers prioritize the establishment of an emotionally secure foundation to support each child's developing sense of self and empathy for others. Relationships between children and children, children and teachers and teachers and families are nurtured, with the aim being to create a community of learners who embark on mutually beneficial and exciting learning journeys.

Within the philosophy the arts play a central role in helping children to be involved in independent decision-making, expressive and aesthetic communication and collaborative learning. Also, the principles of Education for Sustainability underpin a unique pedagogical framework that supports children’s learning in, about and for the environment. Through the ‘Learning in Nature’ and ‘Community Connections’ programs, children and teachers engage in learning beyond the ELC, stepping out regularly to explore the natural environment and the wider community. As the ELC is located on the lands of the Wurundjeri people the inclusion of Australian Indigenous perspectives is considered integral to these outwardly focused experiences. Also, the philosophy recognizes the significance of presenting an inclusive and welcoming environment, one that reflects and promotes diversity and challenges bias through the inclusion of carefully considered resources and learning that promotes perspective-taking and thinking about difference.

Sensory rich learning environments are established to stimulate curiosity and a sense of wonder. These environments are valued for their capacity to organize, to promote choices, to stimulate deep involvement and to support the development of respectful relationships between individuals and materials. Learning experiences, routines and resources are presented in such a way so as to stimulate sensory perception and open-ended play, encourage creative thinking and enhance opportunities for collaborative learning.

The primary aim is for ELC children to develop their understandings of the world in which they live through the development of broadly-based knowledge, skills and attitudes that enable them to take the prerequisite steps in preparation for lifelong learning. Highly qualified teachers design, implement and evaluate innovative and challenging programs that reflect the most contemporary early childhood theory and research and Australian Government curriculum guidelines including the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF).

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