Every parent wants the best for their little bundle of joy, but not all parents know where to look to find the highest caliber of early childhood education. Luckily, the folks at the Institute of Child Development within the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education have created a solution.
Opened in 1935, the Institute of Child Development provides quality early childhood education experiences for children. Housed within the Department of Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum (ILAC), as part of the Early Childhood Education program since the early 1980’s, the institute provides superior child care and unique hands-on learning for students.
Dubbed as the College’s “best kept secret”, the Institute prides itself on their ability to help children achieve autonomy, self-control, and understanding of the physical characteristics of objects in their world. This is achieved by creating self-selected center learning experiences and projects; encouraging children to be responsible for their personal actions and behaviors; and by helping them examine the consequences of those actions. If this description does not fill you with inspiration, a mere glance into the Institute’s building reveals a world created with children in mind. The room houses a sand box, a child-size wardrobe complete with fancy hats, even a floor-to-ceiling tree to help the students understand the jungle—just to name a few features.
Following suit with the most current practices of the field, the teacher’s role at the Institute is to serve as a guide, a resource, and a facilitator for the child. This means that the teacher creates a child-centered environment through developmentally appropriate activities for children that foster learning through self-selected play. It has been proven time and time again that children learn best through doing. This process of discovery enables them to build theories about how their world operates. The teacher acts as a guide when she questions the child, and encourages him or her to think more deeply about a problem or situation. The teacher is a resource for the children, offering suggestions as needed, yet encouraging them to develop ways to solve problems on their own.
The Institute bases all practices on the belief that peer interactions are critical in helping children develop socially, creatively, physically, emotionally, and cognitively. It is through peer interactions that children construct cognitive and social knowledge, learn to be accepting of others, and formulate an appreciation of individual and cultural differences.
Children of all backgrounds and abilities are welcome at this marvelous school, as evidenced by the diverse population of children and families currently in attendance. The teachers work tirelessly among themselves and with other professionals to ensure an appropriate environment to meet each individual child’s needs.
In addition to providing the best, most developmentally appropriate care and education for children,the Institutealso facilitates parent and student education. Parent education and participationare encouraged through individual parent-teacher meetings as well as an observation booth. This one-way vision mirror separates the observer from the classroom and provides the observer the opportunity to view the child without being seen. Junior, senior, and masters level students majoring in early childhood education are able to receive practical, real life experience with the children. Faculty and graduate students are able to conduct research related to the development and enhancement of young children’s growth.
To ensure consistency between students, the director and instructor serve as master teachers and supervisors of the children’s programs. By working with the adult students, and conferring with parents at regular intervals, these two individuals make sure that the Institute remains a nationally accredited early childhood program and an Oklahoma 3 Star Program–the highest rating available. These teachers hold masters degrees in early childhood education.
With such an obviously superior education available at comparable rates, it is hard to believe that the Institute is not overflowing with students. Pamela Giberti, executive director, simply smiles with confidence that the Institute will only continue to grow.
Interested in supporting this fabulous operation? Contact me at 325-1266 for additional information. Are you interested in enrolling your child in this top-of-the-line program? Call Pamela at 325-1641 to learn more.