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Art Philosophies

Project Construct: inspiring  Hands-On, Minds-On Learning

Project Construct is an early childhood curriculum approved by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, or DESE. " This program reflects current knowledge about how children learn and develop. Project construct is derived from constructivism--the theoretical view that learners construct knowledge through interactions with the physical and social environments. Constructivist theory assumes that learning is due more to the reorganization of ways of thinking, of building upon the "known," than to development alone or the accumulation of facts alone."  Many preschools in Missouri use this curriculum, including the St. Louis Zoo preschool.  

See the video the left for an example of open art projects vs processed art projects.

Reggio Emilia 

The Reggio Emilia teaching philosophy believes that "children are equipped with extraordinary potentials for learning that are made manifest in an unceasing exchange with the cultural and social context. 


Participation is the educational strategy that is constructed and lived in encounter and relations day after day. Participation generates and informs the feelings and culture of solidarity, responsibility and inclusion, and produces change and new cultures. 

Every child, like every human being, is the constructor of knowledges, competencies, and autonomies.

The process of learning privileges research strategies, exchange and discussion, and participating with others."

These are the tenants to the Reggio Emilia philosophy

 Loose Parts Theory

"The Theory of Loose Parts was developed by Simon Nicholson in 1971. Loose parts are materials that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up, and taken apart and put back together in multiple ways. The idea of ‘loose parts’ uses materials to empower a creative imagination. The more materials and individuals involved, the more ingenuity takes place.

We encourage our children to make use of all loose parts indoors and outdoors. They are incorporated in much of the children’s project work."

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