Child-Centered Constructivist Learning

The face of learning in Jewish Early Childhood has developed throughout the years to become more focused on child-centered learning rather than teacher initiated experiences. With a Jewish lens, early childhood education has become more emergent, with teachers focusing on play and discovery, supporting children's natural curiosities. Many schools have also taken inspiration and been influenced by the educational practices of Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Our work has focused on strategies of leadership and supporting teachers and directors on their journeys to elevate the image of the child in their practice. Our hope is that we will assist in strengthening early childhood leadership and the ideals of Jewish constructivist education. Supporting the use of documentation, elevating the classroom environment, and an emphasis on teacher observation and reflection are also important tenets of our department's strategy.

Schools with this approach that we have visited and learned from since launching our school visits (and can be found in our Insights and Journeys section linked above):

  • JCC Manhattan (focus on documentation and leadership)

  • 14th Street Y (focus on teacher innovation and expression)

  • Chai Center (focus on transforming the school's environment)

  • Reggio Exhibit (focus on implementing a Jewish lens on learning from Italy)

  • Brotherhood Synagogue (focus on teacher leadership)

  • Portledge School (focus on the impact of a trip to Reggio Emilia on the classroom)


Related Resources

Resource Guide
A resourced guide curated by the Early Childhood and Family Engagement Team of the Jewish Education Project. Points you toward the resources that our expert team finds valuable.

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