We’re inspired by a range of teaching theories at Aurora
At Aurora Early Education, we draw on a number of pedagogies for the inspiration behind our teaching style.
With a longer track record of success than any other child development education approach in the world, the Montessori classroom inspires a lifelong love of learning by allowing children to follow their natural developmental trajectory.
A physician, anthropologist and pedagogue, Dr Maria Montessori developed her educational methods via intense scientific observations of children from many ethnic, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. It is based upon a deep understanding of child development.
The Montessori approach holds that children have an innate passion for learning. They can be encouraged to learn through abundant opportunities to engage in spontaneous, purposeful activities with the guidance of a trained adult. Children develop concentration and joyful self-discipline, progressing at their own pace and rhythm, according to their individual capabilities.
The Reggio Emilia Approach is innovative and inspiring, valuing each child as strong, capable and resilient. It holds that every child has a deep curiosity and potential that informs their understanding of the world and their place within it.
Originating in Italy, this progressive and cooperative early childhood educational approach adapts to the needs of the community in which it’s taught. No two Reggio-inspired communities look the same, as the needs and interests of the children within each community are different.
Fundamental principles include the idea that children can construct their own learning, driven by their interests and desire to know more. Children form an understanding of themselves and their place in the world through their interactions with others and there is a strong focus on social collaboration, group work, natural communication and using language to investigate and explore.
The adult educator in this approach is a mentor and guide – the child leads the learning project. The educator’s role is to listen and observe, then provide opportunities for children to explore their interests further.
The environment is the third teacher in a Reggio-inspired space. Filled with natural light, order and beauty, learning spaces are open and clutter-free with every material having a purpose to encourage children to delve deeper into their own interests.
You’ll notice an emphasis on carefully displaying and documenting children’s thoughts and thinking progressions via photographs, transcripts, drawings and sculptures. Probably the most well known aspect of the Reggio Emilia approach is the “hundred languages of children:” the belief that children show their understanding and express their creativity in many different ways from play to painting, modelling to music – and that each of these ‘languages’ must be valued and nurtured.
The Walker Learning Approach is the first major Australian-based total and holistic pedagogy (Preschool to Year 8) to be designed and implemented. Based on decades of research about play-based and personalised learning, and social constructivism, it combines formal instruction with the need for children to be active participants in their learning through hands-on and creative exploration and investigation.
Compatible with the National Early Years Framework and Australian Curriculum, this early childhood care and education approach ensures learning is real, relevant and meaningful for all children regardless of their age, culture, family context, socioeconomic background or geographical position. It employs developmental psychology, biology and cultural/environmental influences that put your child’s learning at the centre of its focus.
The Walker approach seeks to promote lateral and creative thinking, asking children to initiate, explore, problem solve, take risks, think deeply and become increasingly motivated to learn, try and be resilient.
Through a play-based curriculum, children are provided with opportunities to construct, create and investigate in purposeful, planned, intentional and robust ways.
“Open” or “closed” experiences define how an authentic play-based curriculum environment is set up to promote the above skills. In an open experience, rich print around the room, children’s own writing, texts, posters, labels, the richness of literacy and numeracy, oral language, conversation, children’s own planning and thoughts and ideas fill the learning spaces every day, encouraging further exploration and delight in continuous discovery.
Multi-age education brings together learners from diverse ages, interests and grade levels. Children work and play in a dynamic environment, forming stronger bonds, while being exposed to a wide range of experiences.
When it comes to physical space, the multi age approach allows for open doors and spaces, similar to the freedom children enjoy in their own homes. Children blossom in a relaxed and welcoming environment, gaining independence and actively engaging with their surroundings – especially important in today’s world.
Research (Lally, 2003) suggests too many transitions of educators at a young age can lead to reluctance to form new relationships. Multi-age classrooms solve this problem by allowing learners to continue enjoying interactions with familiar caregivers and then comfortably establish relationships with new ones. This will make it easier for your child to develop trusting, secure relationships as they grow older.
The multi-age environment encourages children to grow comfortable with peers from different ages, exposing them to diverse interests and capabilities and strengthening their social skills. As in sibling relationships, younger children look to the older ones for behavioural cues. Younger learners gain exposure to advanced skills and accelerated learning while older children take their younger peers’ attention in their stride, shared their knowledge, became mentors, leaders and developed greater empathy and a sense of responsibility.