The Planting Seeds Educational Methodology, developed by Susan Schmaltz and effectively carried forward by Madeli Samara Quiñonez Gonzalez, has been implemented in Planting Seeds preschools and partner schools throughout the country since 2001.
Methodology Vision & Philosophy
Based on the works of Jean Piaget and his Cognitive-Developmental approach to learning, Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences, William Glasser’s Choice Theory to name only a few, Planting Seeds methodology is based on the following principles:
- Children need to feel loved and cared for.
- Successful teaching is based on strong relationships.
- Early childhood programs should be child-centered and activity-based.
- Activities need to be developmentally appropriate for the age and stage of the child.
- Each child is unique and develops along his/her own developmental continuum.
- Children progress at their own rate and develop their own learning style.
- Intelligence is evident in many diverse ways.
- Creativity is self-expression.
Planting Seeds programs center on a philosophy of love, nurturing and caring. As opposed to the much-accepted view that education’s main purpose is to provide skills for future careers, Planting Seeds strives to prepare children for LIFE.
Each human being, first and foremost, must feel a sense of self- worth. “I am unique” and “I am valued for who I am and not what I do.” It is only then that one is able to reach out to others forming caring relationships that lie at the very heart of our ability to learn. If the classroom is to evolve into a warm and caring community, the primary source of love must be the teacher. By truly listening to the children, valuing their ideas, respecting their feelings, and recognizing each one’s personal gifts, an essential bond of trust is established.
Committed to the idea of holistic education, Planting Seeds designs programs that address the needs of the whole child:
Physically A child’s body needs to be nourished.
Emotionally One must feel loved and be able to express love.
Socially We all need to feel a sense of belonging to a caring and supportive community
Cognitively The child needs to develop essential critical thinking and problem solving skills.
Creatively Self-expression is paramount. A child needs to be free to express who he/she is without fear of the judgment of others.
Spiritually A child needs to feel connected to nature and the universe.
Young children learn through all their senses. We acknowledge that students of all ages are intelligent in many different ways. Some are visual learners, others are auditory and still others are tactile. Our primary responsibility is to create and preserve a learning environment that is responsive to the needs and the abilities of all children. Free choice of activities and sharing of personal opinions is encouraged. With the teacher acting as guide and facilitator, emphasis is on teaching children to explore, experiment, to think and, most importantly, to understand, rather than hours of memorizing basic facts. We need to teach children to learn how to learn.