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Helen Gordon Child Development Center, Psu

1609 Sw 12th Avenue
Portland, OR 97201

(503) 725-3092


Philosophy & Approach

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"Our program provides a secure and loving environment for children between six months and six years of age supporting each child's growth, development, and feelings of self-worth.
We maintain a 1:3 teacher-to-child ratio in our infant/toddler program, a 1:4 teacher-to-child ratio in our program for two to three year-olds and a 1:7 teacher-to-child ratio in our programs for three to five year-olds. Although state licensing requires only a 1:10 ratio for preschool children (thirty months to five years of age), we are committed to lower ratios because having more teachers:
Allows us to spend time with your child, developing closer child-teacher bonds of affection, trust, and respect;
Allows us to assess carefully your child's social, emotional, cognitive, and physical growth and progress, and individualize our program accordingly; and,
Allows us to work with children in small groups, allowing us to facilitate language arts, cognitive development and social-emotional development.
Early childhood education practice and research have found that a child's emotional, social, and cognitive developments are interdependent. Our program encourages positive peer and social relations, development of critical thinking skills, and facilitates the development of self-esteem by fostering independence and problem-solving skills.
Jean Piaget generally is recognized as the leader in the field of early childhood education in the research and understanding of a child's development. Based on his findings, we are less concerned with the traditional products of learning, for example, the recitation of the alphabet; instead we focus our attention on the process of learning. From ages two to seven, a child is developing many of the cognitive skills that are the foundation for all formal learning. Generally, a child is ready for formal learning at age seven. Attempts to hurry a child's cognitive development are not worthwhile: Piaget's research documents that the stages of cognitive development cannot be skipped, nor is it possible to speed through them. While most children, even at the youngest ages, are able to memorize and recite, these skills do not represent meaningful learning in the preschool years. Our goal is to help foster the development of a child's critical thinking skills by giving them opportunities to experiment, explore, question and play. To read an article on Antibias curriculum, by Julie Bisson Hohensee and Louise Derman-Sparks, click here
Excerpted from the preschool's website