Our Approach – Bay Area Discovery Museum

Our Approach

Approach

We believe that children are capable and innately motivated learners and our research-backed, emergent curriculum is guided by students’ interests, questions, and curiosities. Through joyful learning and collaborative play, our Reggio-inspired program is designed to grow children’s physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development, as well as their creative problem-solving skills. Our teachers intentionally prepare a creatively stimulating classroom environment and utilize our museum-based campus and national park setting so children can explore and gain knowledge about the world around them. This close-knit preschool cultivates relationships, which are the foundation of our safe and nurturing learning environment.

Curriculum

Through its innovative practice, TDS seeks to advance the field of early childhood education by demonstrating how research on creativity development can be applied in a preschool classroom. Backed by research from BADM’s in-house research division, TDS’s curriculum supports children’s development of language and literacy, provides opportunities to explore the arts, models age-appropriate science, math, and engineering learning, and thoughtfully integrates technology to enhance children’s engagement, social interaction, and creativity.

Your Child's Day at School

We value time for pursuing interests, developing relationships, and engaging in imaginative play and open-ended exploration. We regularly spend time meeting as a group (circle time), exploring outside, sharing stories, singing songs, and engaging in small group work.

Our Daily Flow Includes:

  • Arrival
  • Morning Meeting with a story, songs, and/or creative movement
  • Exploring the classroom and museum
  • Small group work
  • Enjoying a provided healthy, organic snack
  • Outside time
  • Children enjoying their lunch, brought from home
  • Closing Meeting with a story, songs, and/or creative movement

Documentation and Reflection

Throughout the TDS school year, educators maintain thorough and reflective documentation which guides their planning and assessment. This practice ensures that the learning that happens within the classroom is visible to everyone. Parents and families are necessarily included in the documentation process, and bi-monthly reflections become part of an ongoing conversation between parents, children, teachers, and peers.

Outdoor Exploration

Spending time outside is central to TDS’s approach to creative learning. During the school year, TDS students spend time outdoors, exploring the beaches and habitats of our Fort Baker location, which fosters a deep connection to the natural world. Our students all have access to all of the resources and exhibits of our museum home, including exclusive access on Mondays, when BADM is closed to the public.

Labratory School

In fall 2016, TDS became an official laboratory school, or lab school. As a lab school, TDS welcomes top university researchers who are studying child development in a preschool setting. The lessons and research that come out of our preschool will shape the national dialogue on how educators design experiences to set kids up for lifelong success. Our status as a lab school also benefits TDS teachers. They have access to cutting edge research from the leading thinkers in cognitive development and early childhood education, which gives them the opportunity to implement this innovative research immediately in the classroom.

Connect with Us!

Have questions? Get in touch, and our Head of School, Michelle Barreras, will respond with more information.

Apply Now

TDS is still taking applications for the 2020 - 21 school year.

Apply Now

Contact Us

Have questions? Get in touch, and our Head of School, Michelle Barreras.

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