Conscious Discipline, created by Dr. Becky Bailey, is built on the premise of developing discipline within children rather than applying discipline to them. It is the opportunity to teach rather than allow a disruption and to stay in control of your own actions, creating a safe environment for children.
Conscious Discipline integrates classroom management with social-emotional learning, using everyday events as part of the school curriculum, and addresses the adult as well as the child.
The School Family (™) concept defines three key ingredients: Increasing the willingness to learn by creating a sense of belonging; Boosting impulse control internally, a much more effective approach than an external system of punishment and reward; Helping children develop and apply sustained attention by reducing stress and encouraging their contributions in a caring atmosphere.
Tools of the Mind
Tools of the Mind gives the teachers the tools to ensure every child becomes a successful learner, developing the underlying cognitive, social-emotional skills needed to reach his or her highest potential. It is based upon a specific set of beliefs about how children develop and learn.
Instructional interactions are designed to help teachers be more effective in identifying teachable moments, assessing children’s development and differentiating instruction. Teachers focus on helping children become intentional and reflective learners, creating a classroom in which instruction in literacy, mathematics, and science reflect children’s learning capacity, rather than age-level expectations.
In the Pre-K classroom, a play theme unifies the room. The year begins with adaptable play themes close to children’s lives, and over the course of the year, as children’s level of make-believe play, self-regulation and executive functions develop, the play themes develop as well.
Make-believe play is the heart of the classroom but children engage in activities designed to support the development of literacy, math and science skills at the same time as self-regulation and executive function. Most learning takes place in small groups and partnered activities, engaging with one another to learn, build social relationships and create a positive classroom culture.
The Reggio Emilia philosophy values the child as central to their own learning. Children are able to pursue their own interests, focusing on their own motivations by revisiting and building upon ideas at their own pace. The concept ‘100 languages of children’ recognizes that children have multiple ways of thinking, playing, exploring, speaking and doing. The Reggio Emilia approach encourages young children to experience learning as an individual process and to use every tool they have to express themselves.
A Reggio-inspired environment often referred to as ‘the third teacher’, is one that is open and child-led in order to promote uninterrupted exploration and play-based learning. Outdoor spaces extend the opportunities for discovery and exploration from inside the classrooms, providing an authentic value of nature and the natural world. This connection and design of space influence the children to move freely between the two.
Children in a Reggio environment come to understand they are able to navigate their own learning journey. This ownership of their individual ideas, perspectives, and creative expressions are all important to support believing in themselves and in bringing value to others in the world around them.