Designing the Best Pedagogies for Our Early Learners

The processes by which we impart skills and knowledge are known in educational circles as “pedagogy.” It is the “how” of teaching, not the “what." Of course, there are many ways to teach the same topic.

For example, if you were learning how to golf, you might simply grab some clubs and start swinging. In other cases (usually more successful ones) you would have a teacher or coach provide you with the basics. Then you might practice on your own or with others and come back for more one-on-one instruction. You could spend time at the driving range and on the putting green, or simply play a round of golf. You might count your score, or not. Alternatively, you could read books, watch Youtube videos, or watch professionals on television. Each approach has its advantages and sometimes the combination of approaches makes for the best learning.

A Multi-Disciplined Approach

The TASIS Portugal Early Learning Center utilizes the Core Knowledge curriculum and Singapore Math, as well as yoga, meditation and reflection, chess, violin (starting in Kindergarten), phonics, and coding. This is our curricular framework and we believe it works best.The way we teach this knowledge and these skills varies by teacher and philosophy. Our highly experienced group of educators combines many pedagogical approaches to promote the highest levels of learning with our young students. Reflecting on their own educational backgrounds from multiple countries (US, England, Wales, Portugal, South Africa, Brazil, the Netherlands), they have conceived a mix of the most effective developmental approaches.

What do Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon), Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google founders), Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger (Wikipedia founders), Julia Child (one of the world´s most famous chefs) and Sean Combs (American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, record executive, and actor) have in common? They are all very wealthy, of course. They are also entrepreneurs. An interesting fact is that they each spent their early years in Montessori schools. The Montessori method is a hands-on, self-directed approach to learning. There are no grades, but considerable feedback and self-reflection is involved; and communication, autonomy, responsibility, and risk taking are promoted. The TASIS Portugal ELC uses this approach alongside a more traditional teaching and learning methodology.

The Reggio Emilia and Waldorf approaches are also familiar to our teaching team. Every learning activity in which our students engage is evaluated by our 11-member team to determine the best method to use to help young students reach the learning objectives. We also teach outdoors whenever possible. Kids get their hands dirty in the mud kitchen, develop manual and physical dexterity through manipulatives and climbing, and learn to explore their environment and themselves, while also learning their sounds through phonics and math through numbers and problem solving. We believe it is the best of both worlds. We also believe kids like it best.

One of the goals of school is to produce lifelong learners--people who see themselves as confident and capable individuals, who are motivated to continue to learn after school is done. We believe this begins in the early years when the foundations for learning are established.

We believe in the essential literacies of reading, writing, speaking, and mathematics, and we spend a great deal of time on these areas. The best investment you can make in your child is a high-quality education, and our early learning specialists deliver an unparalleled educational experience to set your children up for success, both now and in the future.

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