CCC is a play-based/developmental cooperative preschool. The curriculum, based on principles and beliefs about the way children grow and learn, was developed out of learning theories put forth by famous educators such as Jean Piaget and John Dewey. The prominent idea behind the developmental philosophy is that children at the preschool age learn best through play. It follows that children at CCC have a great deal of choice in how they spend their time: their play leads the way for the majority of time they are at school. Appropriate social interaction is also a major goal of a developmental program, and CCC activities such as snack time and community meeting encourage the children to interrelate with others.
CCC is special in that it is a parent/teacher cooperative. For parents, this structure can be both more demanding and more rewarding than other types of preschool experiences. Based on our shared commitment to the children and to the work and play of running the school, a strong sense of community flourishes. We also feel that children benefit from parent participation in their early social and educational experiences. Since parents are actively involved with teaching children, parent education is an essential component of the CCC experience. Moms and dads learn skills for resolving conflicts between children, techniques for engaging children in creative play, and supportive ways to set limits.
We are also committed to the ideals of anti-bias and non-exclusionary play. Because we live in a society with negative biases about gender, race, cultural backgrounds, disabilities and family structures, we believe in actively fostering children’s anti-bias development. Our program helps children appreciate their similarities and differences, and respect, value and comfortably interact with diverse people. Similarly, exclusionary play is discouraged at CCC; rather, the child who is excluding may be asked about his/her game, and whether some role might be found for the child who wants to participate. If the exclusion arises from perceived “differences” noticed by the children, teachers and parents help the children discuss those differences, recognize that we are all unique in our own way, and understand that these special qualities are not a reason for exclusion.
Our school is a place where everyone contributes; there are no winners or losers. Children learn positive skills to effectively deal with conflicts that may occur during their play and interactions. At CCC, we have created a safe environment in which children can develop independence, competence and strong self-esteem.