Philosophy and Goals
Rainbow Schools are dedicated to the idea that learning is a natural accomplishment of living and should be a joyful process. Positive learning experiences enable a child to build a strong feeling of self worth as well as to cope more effectively with the world.
Rainbow School’s role is to focus the learning already taking place in a child’s life by guiding the child toward four goals: basic skill development, a deeper awareness of the world and his place in it, creative expression, and the ability to make effective choices.
Rainbow Schools individualizes instruction so that the child may develop at his own rate. Children are expected to experience the consequences of positive decisions. All of this is achieved in an atmosphere of positive support where each child’s strengths and abilities are emphasized and tasks are broken into steps which are developmentally appropriate.
Rainbow School believes in a developmentally appropriate curriculum for all enrolled children as outlined by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
In recent years a trend toward increased emphasis on academic skills has emerged in early childhood programs. The staff of Rainbow Schools believes that this trend toward a strictly academic approach is based on misconceptions about how young children learn. Research continues to emerge affirming that children learn most effectively through a concrete, play-oriented approach to early childhood education.
The concept of developmental appropriateness has two dimensions: age appropriateness and individual appropriateness.
Human development research indicates that there are universal, predictable sequences of growth and change that occur in children during the first 9 years of life. These predictable changes occur in all domains of life: the physical, the emotional, the social and the cognitive..
Rainbow School believes that each child is a unique person with an individual pattern and timing of growth as well as individual personality, learning style, and family background. Teachers can use this individual developmental knowledge to identify the range of appropriate behaviors, activities, and materials for a specific age group. This knowledge is used in conjunction with understanding about individual children’s growth patterns, strengths, interests, and experiences to design the most appropriate learning environment.
Rainbow School believes in learning through play. Children’s play is a primary vehicle for and an indicator of their mental growth. Play enables children to progress along the developmental sequence from the sensorimotor intelligence of infancy to pre-operational thought in the preschool years to the concrete operational thinking exhibited by primary children. In addition to its role in cognitive development, play also serves important functions in children’s physical, emotional, and social development. Therefore, child-initiated, child-directed, teacher-supported play is an essential component of developmentally appropriate practice.