Once children are helped to perceive themselves as authors or inventors, once they are helped to discover the pleasure of inquiry, their motivation and interest explode.
— Loris Malaguzzi

Brooklyn Schoolhouse is founded on the conviction that children have an innate desire to explore, play and learn, and are naturally competent and capable learners. We believe children learn best in a diverse community where their ideas and questions are respected, and where children are guided through the process of building meaningful understandings. 

The Reggio Emilia Approach is integral to our philosophy and practice. (*For more information about Reggio Emilia please refer to the Teaching Practice section below.) Rather than teaching children about subjects, our programs are designed to help children experience the joy and satisfaction that come with learning. Curricula and projects emerge from children's interests, the goal being for children to experience the exciting process of discovery and learning - to learn to love learning!

As each curriculum evolves, we encourage children to think creatively, investigate their questions, and build new understandings. This kind of education builds collaboration skills and social responsibility, and fosters creativity and ingenuity. These are the skills that will help young people to be happy and successful in the world today.

Our School Values

Nothing without joy.
— Loris Malaguzzi


Joy and excitement are the lifeblood of the learning process; joy is a natural part of the experience of building understandings.  

Play is the highest form of research
— Albert Einstein


Play is an important and uniquely personal medium for children to think and reflect, test their theories and ideas, practice, and build understandings about themselves and their world. It is an integral part of human development and growth. 



Our philosophy and approach places an enormous respect on each child. It encourages her or his unique processes of learning and discovery, and taking ownership of one's learning. 


We strive to foster in children: openness, respect and responsibility, capability, with an emphasis on empathy and helping others.


More on the Fundamentals of our Teaching Practice

The Learning Environment

We believe that the physical environment plays a crucial role in the learning that takes place. We take great care to set up the classroom environment and provide materials to continually “speak” to the children’s interests and curiosities, and to provoke deeper thinking and cognitive growth.

We set up the classroom with all necessary materials like blocks, books, and paints to support and expand the interests and learning opportunities of the children. We collect recycled and found materials for open-ended use in the classroom. The children use the materials in unique and repurposed ways for creating process art, and in dramatic play. We believe in providing open-ended materials for play because it requires inventive thinking and enriches creativity. At Brooklyn Schoolhouse the environment is planned with care to inspire creative thinking and cognitive growth.


Emergent Curriculum

At Brooklyn Schoolhouse we believe in inquiry-based learning. In this style of learning, each curriculum emerges from the children’s interests and questions. Teachers listen closely and carefully to children and start to formulate questions about what children’s high interest areas might be. Teachers respond to children’s interests by providing classroom possibilities for the emergent curriculum to develop over time. The children learn how to collaborate, build knowledge, and remain invested in the learning process. When children learn how to build knowledge and skills in this way, they also learn to enjoy the exciting process of working towards accomplishing their goals.


Reggio Emilia Approach

The art of research already exists in the hands of children acutely sensitive to the pleasure of surprise. The wonder of learning, of knowing, of understanding is one of the first, fundamental sensations each human being expects from experiences faced alone or with others.
— Loris Malaguzzi

The Reggio Emilia Approach is integral to our program.  In this innovative educational approach, respect for children is paramount. Children are granted an active role in guiding the direction of their learning experience.  They are encouraged to explore their world through diverse mediums, and to collaborate with one another and their teachers on extended projects. 

More Information