The Intellidance® child-learning philosophy follows the following three tenants:
- Each child is a unique individual and will be respected as such.
- Children learn best in an open play-based environment.
- Children learn through participation, observation and interaction.
Each child is a unique individual and will be respected as such.
Every child is an individual, with different strengths, needs, and personalities. We don’t compare the children in our programs with one another, even if they are the same age as every child will experience the class differently. We honor each child’s developmental level and don’t push a child into activities for which he/she is not physically, cognitively, or emotionally ready. In the long run, by letting the child take the lead they will be more successful, have greater confidence and increased self–esteem.
Children learn best in an open play-based environment.
Play is how young children naturally explore and make sense of their world. Play-based learning is a powerful model for early development as it is multi-sensory and brain-compatible. During the early years children are undergoing neurological organization through sensory processing. Play creates a brain that has increased “flexibility and improved potential for learning later in life” (Lester & Russell, 2008, p. 9).
Play requires a physical and social space in order to thrive. Children require a play environment that is open and free from distractions, yet provides novel opportunities that can be experienced and explored.
One of the biggest benefits to play based learning is the development of social competencies. When children play in a safe, trusting environment, they build relationships, learn to resolve conflict, negotiate, and regulate their behavior. Play is give and take. Children feel most successful when provided with choices. Our instructors remain flexible in the direction of each class to ensure they are responding to how the children are experiencing play. Whenever possible, we allow the children to lead the direction of the play activities.
Children learn through participation, observation and interaction.
Within the Intellidance® programming, you’ll see a variety of different ways children engage and learn. It is important to keep in mind that each child will want to experience and explore this learning in different ways. One way is not more desired or beneficial than another. Just as each child should be valued as an individual, so should each child’s learning needs.
It is very common for children to spend time observing class activities rather then participating along with the group. It is important to remember that even though it seems as though the child is not physically engaged, he/she is still learning.
Many children need time to observe and process activities visually and cognitively before they will participate. Other children may not be socially ready to participate with the group. It is not uncommon for these same children to demonstrate the ideas presented in class at home. We encourage caregivers to continue modeling the activities with enthusiasm as this not only benefits the child’s learning process but also reinforces that the classroom environment is a safe place to play.
Interacting with a loving caregiver is another way children will learn and thrive in the Intellidance® programs. Skin-to-skin physical interactions not only continue to support the child’s emotional and social development and child-caregiver bond, but also provide children a way to experience movement patterns they may be unable to on their own.
Whether waltzing while holding a baby, bouncing a tyke on your knee, or holding hands while learning the rhythm of gallop with a toddler, physical interaction continues to provide the scaffolding young children need to learn new skills. We encourage the caregivers in our classes to honor their child(ren)’s need to be held while they dance and play.