The Discovery Story
The Discovery Preschools are exceptional licenced child cares established in 2002 based in Markham, Ontario. We support a challenging environment that intrigues a child’s natural intuitive curiosity. It is a unique child care community for children ages 2 months to 5 years and their families, free of discrimination.
Our strategies are inspired by the incredible work of the children, teachers, and parents in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Our philosophy focuses on the children’s natural desire to research and as such, we guide and encourage critical thinking to design a curriculum based on the development and testing of theories, balancing the importance of the democratic and individual exchange of ideas. The Reggio Approach is not a static transmission of information. It is an attitude; a strategy for continuous and engaged learning through a constant state of research and inquiry. We believe that this democratic approach is what builds togetherness; creating strong theories about the world.
Our physical environment plays an integral part of each day. Children learn the importance of organization, respect for the materials we use, and of course, how each individual brings a unique perspective to our learning. Each material and tool is chosen to sustain the cognitive processes of constructing and research through related play.
Each day begins with a warm welcome. Throughout our time together, children participate in important routines inclusive of enjoying meals, toileting and handwashing routines, rest time, and outdoor play in our gardens. We begin with a group meeting where the children and educators organize their day into smaller group work. The educators have revisited the discussions of yesterday’s work and will now focus on the strategies needed to deconstruct the children’s thinking; to question their theories; and, to reconstruct ideas through experimentation and working with their peers. Each group commits to a project for the morning and afternoon as our educators observe, listen and document the children’s ideas as they build new theories.
Our commitment of writing together each day is a powerful ritual as we pay close attention to the narratives and symbols that children create. Drawing in black marker on white paper is our way of studying details; a blueprint to invite the children to discuss and critique their ideas among their peers. Our current research project on literacies shows a correlation between the graphic relationship of symbols and the child’s ability to narrate their theories which we believe is an essential prerequisite before the emergence of letters and numbers.
The World Economic Forum expresses the urgent need for human skills of creativity, originality, critical thinking, attention to detail and complex problem-solving. Discovery Preschool has embodied these disciplines in every aspect of our work. Our preschool environments are not just preparation for elementary school; they host innovative and collaborative group work designed to sustain the child throughout life. We empower the child to be a strong and unique citizen.
Above all else, Discovery Preschool holds the concept of family as precious. We are a family of educators, a family of students, and a family of community stakeholders supporting over 6,000 families in Markham in the past 17 years. I have worked alongside my mother, Sandy Shields for over 30 years, and together we have a combined history of 60 years in the field of early childhood education. We would be honoured to meet your family and collaborate on your values and inspirations for your child’s education and care. Welcome to Discovery Preschool.