The WVC CDC Lab School is a demonstration site for the Outdoor Classroom Project (OCP). All Master Teachers and the Program Director have OCP Level One and Level Two Training Certificates.
"In concert with modern child development research findings, the concept of the Outdoor Classroom is built upon the premise that children are complex beings. To nurture the whole child, early childhood education needs to follow the fundamental principle that children are learning everywhere and all the time. Instead of developmentally inappropriate early academics, children need a broad variety of learning experiences and opportunities to grow in areas such as gross and fine motor development, social-emotional development, language development, and creative expression. Mastery of the skills associated with these areas is critical for healthy development as well as later academic success, and requires an educational format that is very different from a traditional elementary classroom. The Outdoor Classroom evolves from the real needs of children, offers activities that are personally meaningful to them, and fully embraces developmentally appropriate practices in early care.”
The CDC is staffed by full-time Master Teachers who have degrees in Early Childhood Education. Teachers have training and experience in all areas of child development. Annually, Master Teachers complete a minimum of 21 hours of professional development/continuing education.
The CDC maintains a ratio of one adult scheduled for every four to eight children, depending on the classroom and age demographics. The CDC maintains an adult-child ratio of one-four in the toddler classroom; and one-eight in the mixed age preschool classroom.
We believe play is the natural medium through which growth and development can best be realized for each child. Therefore, our program reflects an emergent play-based curriculum in a natural setting. We establish an aesthetically beautiful environment in which children are free to explore, create, learn and grow.
We believe children learn by doing and discovering for themselves, so adults provide opportunities for children to experiment and explore their environment. Adults serve as guides, facilitators, and co-discoverers, rather than direct instructors. Curriculum topics emerge out of the interests and needs of the children.
Our curriculum is ethnically diverse, non-sexist, and anti-biased. This is demonstrated in the use of appropriate materials, toys, books, pictures, and foods. We employ a diverse staff and are often assisted by our parents and Child Studies students in providing unique ethnic and culturally relevant experiences.
The program operates on a non-discriminatory basis, according equal opportunity for access to services and employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sexual preference, or special needs and disabilities. No religious instruction of any kind is provided.