Theme in Story Co-Op Approach
Our practice at GRIMM International Nursery is inspired by the John Dewey's Theme based approach. The methodology has a firmly established worldwide reputation for forward thinking and excellence to early childhood education. Children are able to relate to real-world experiences and build on prior knowledge of a topic.
With the integration of Storytelling, Whole-language, Reggio Emilia and Parent Co-Op approach, Theme in Story Co-Op Approach is developed specifically for kids in early childhood. The high quality experiences provided for young children are built on a set of key values which are reflected in both our practice and our GRIMM values. Moreover, our daily practice at GRIMM Internatioanl Nursery embodies the following key principles from the Theme in Story and Extension approach:
All children have potential
Our image of the child is rich in potential, strong, powerful, competent and, most of all connected to adults and other children. Loris Malaguzzi
From birth the child has the need and the right to communicate and interact with others. Through energy and curiousity the child constructs his/her own learning.
Children are communicators
Children have the right to say what they think should happen and have their opinions taken into account. In order to achieve this, children have the right to use many forms of symbolic representation: words, movement, drawing, painting, building, sculpture, shadow play, collage, dramatic play, music (the “hundred languages”). In this way children are able to explore and communicate ideas in many different ways, and are able to link ideas across different media. In our multicultural nurseries, we may not always share a language in common with a child right from the beginning. Basing our practice on listening to the children’s hundred or more languages enables us to include everybody and to recognise the value of different point of views and the interpretations of others.
Educators are partners, nurturers and guides
Educators facilitate children’s exploration of themes – short- or long-term projects – and guide experiences of open-ended discovery and problem-solving. They observe and listen closely to children in order to deepen their understanding of the children’s ideas and their ways of working together. They reflect in groups to analyse their observations and decide how to further support the children’s learning.
Documentation as a learning tool
Careful consideration and attention are given to the presentation of the thinking of the children and the adults who work with them. Transcriptions of children’s words and dialogues, photographs, videos, observations and drawings are used for groups of adults and children to reflect on the learning that is taking place. The documentation enables children, educators and parents to share each other’s learning, not just at the end of a learning process but as an aid to a continuing group idea.
Families as partners
Families have an active role in children’s learning experience. They are encouraged to share their ideas and experiences of their children’s learning, and are able to see what has been happening in our nurseries through documentation and discussions.
Promoting the expressive arts
Children are largely encouraged to participate in a variety of expressive arts such as drawing, painting, writing, sculpting, dramatic play, puppetry, shadow play, dancing, music, textures, construction etc. It is believed that through expressive arts, children can revisit subjects of interest through many different media, experiencing their world their world in many different ways. Expressive arts are all about the learning process rather than the final product. ‘Our task, regarding creativity, is to help children climb their own mountains, as high as possible.’ (Loris Malaguzzi)