Some of the overarching themes that have carried CNS for more than sixty years include a deep respect for children and their families and the importance of building community.
In recent years we have learned about the early childhood programs in Reggio Emilia and Pistoia, Italy. They are renowned for their collaborative learning environments where these universal values are strengthened through community dialogue and a commitment to continued growth on the part of all members. We consider the Reggio schools to be a beacon, inspiring us with a deep sense of possibility for the growth of our own school and community. We have always believed that the adults set the tone at our cooperative by modeling the values of working together, exchanging ideas and respecting both our common and unique threads. At CNS, we believe that this collaborative spirit serves to strengthen, enhance and enrich life at our school. A learning environment for adults supports the growth of children.
The schools of Reggio Emilia and Pistoia continue to offer inspiration for us to be more reflective and intentional in our work. These world-renowned schools are driven by their strong image of children as competent, curious and unique individuals who have many languages for expressing themselves and for representing their thinking.
These schools celebrate:
materials and the arts
the image of all of their members (children, parents and teachers) as researchers and learners
learning that emerges from questions, theories and passions
children’s ability to construct knowledge through exploration and working together
These values and beliefs are compelling as they provide deeper insight into much of what we have always believed at CNS. Inspiration from these schools help us to grow more thoughtful and purposeful about:
- the value of listening more and speaking less
- how the environment supports children’s learning
- how to extend interests and explorations based on children’s curiosity and understanding
- how to share our understanding with parents
- how documentation supports learning
- identifying and articulating our beliefs and giving careful thought to how our daily life at CNS reflects these beliefs
- how to make our work more transparent and visible