Recent research in neuroscience has shown that children experience more rapid and intensive brain development during the first five years of life, making the period a crucial stage in development and growth.
Developmentally-appropriate practice, or DAP, is a comprehensive, holistic approach to teaching based on child development theories, individually-identified strengths and needs of each child, and a child's cultural background. This system has been proven highly effective in making the most of a child's formative years, and is currently being followed by a growing number of early childhood education centers, including the 9th Avenue School in Bonifacio Global City.
Because of its location at the center of an emerging business district, the school plays second home to children from a spectrum of cultural backgrounds, and has developed highly individualized programs sensitive to children of both Filipinos and foreign nationals. The school has also recently added a class for children with special needs.
"It's very grounded to what we need in our culture," said teacher and co-founder Marilou Zalamea-Acero of her school. "We realize that given the base philosophy that learning is through interaction, hands-on activities, and through play, it evolves as we deal with different groups and communities."
The founders believe in creating a partnership between the parents and the school in order to promote holistic and consistent development for each child. The children of 9th Avenue School are also exposed to a curriculum that highlights environmental awareness and responsibility.
The school's reception area, creatively decorated with recycled materials, combines art and eco-friendliness and serves as a bright welcome to all. A small student-teacher ratio also ensures that the children get enough attention and guidance in order that their developmental needs are met.
The school, launched in June of 2012, is the latest educational endeavor of Teacher Marilou, Teacher Ina, and Teacher Tiffany, all seasoned early childhood experts. Together, the three founders have created a solid program centered on DAP and on what they termed "purposeful play."