The Creative Curriculum is based on five fundamental principles. They guide practice and help us understand the reasons for intentionally setting up and operating early childhood programs in particular ways. These are the principles:
The first component of The Creative Curriculum framework addresses how children develop and learn. This knowledge is one of the bases for planning the program, selecting materials, and guiding children’s learning. Understanding how children develop and learn means understanding the widely held expectations for children at various levels of development as well as the differences teachers will certainly find among individual children.
Child development is divided into four areas: social-emotional, physical, language, and cognitive. In reality the four areas are closely related and often overlap. Development in one area affects and is influenced by development in all other areas. This reality requires teachers to pay attention to every area as they guide children’s learning.
The second component of The Creative Curriculum framework is the learning environment: the use and organization of the space in the classroom and outdoors, the structure teachers provide each day, and the plans teacher develop. A well-organized classroom helps children make choices, encourages them to use materials well, and teaches them to take increasing responsibility for maintaining the classroom. A consistent well-balanced daily schedule gives children a sense of security, and the teacher’s plans enable them to be prepared for each day.
The components of the content areas include:
The fourth component of The Creative Curriculum framework addresses two aspects of the teacher’s role that cannot be separated: caring and teaching. Everything the teacher does to create a positive social environment in the classroom; to promote children’s social-emotional skills; and to help them become competent, enthusiastic learners makes a profound difference in the way they experience school.