top of page

Inspired by the Best in Early Childhood Education...


At Good Shepherd Day School, we blend various research-based approaches to early childhood education, including the much-celebrated Reggio Emilia approach, the Piagetian-based High Scope curriculum, the writings of Lev Vygotsky, the intuitive genius of Maria Montessori, and the child-sensitive RIE philosophy (Resources for Infant Educarers).  What links all these approaches is the underlying theory of respect and trust in the potential of the child.  


We incorporate the Florida Birth Through Five Standards and VPK guidelines to make sure all readiness skills are addressed. Underlying all of what we do is a grounding in our Faith that God made each of us unique and with a special purpose to exercise those talents.  We celebrate these natural talents and gifts that each child has in multiple ways throughout the day.  


The Emergent Curriculum...


An emergent curriculum develops as teachers observe, interpret and reflect upon shared experiences with children. This imparts an organic flow to our topics of study and project work, which honor the true interests of the children and the teachers who call Good Shepherd home.  As we observe children's work and comments about their world, we  are guided along the path of deep learning with the children.  


By tapping into children's natural curiosity about the world, we encourage critical thinking, problem-solving and investigation, instilling a lasting feeling of confidence. Plenty of time and space is given for children to explore, question and construct ideas about their world. At the heart of it all are strong relationships between children, teachers and families, which supports learning accross all developmental domains: cognitive, social/emotional, aesthetic, spiritual and physical.  Together, the teachers, children and their families are the three important co-creators of how learning happens at GSDS.

Visit our blog to see the latest projects our children have been working on!







Our Image of the Child...


Our study of the Reggio Emilia approach drives what we call "our image of the child".  We see the child as a competent learner, already arriving with their own ideas about the world.  We see that the child has "a hundered languages" to express those ideas through the use of a variety of materials and media.  We see the child as someone who wants to establish relationships with other children, teachers, the materials and the environment.  We see the child as powerful, capable of understanding deep and meaningful learning.  When we see the child in this way, we develop a culture of responding to each child in a way that is unique to their individual temperament and talents.  


An Ongoing Journey...

Good Shepherd Day School is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to education because we want to become a school of collaborative self-reflection and continuous growth.  This is what the spirit of Reggio Emilia education is all about. 

We set a high priority in ongoing teacher training in the Reggio Emilia approach, as well as other research-supported approaches to early childhood education.  This allows us to keep growing in our understanding of how young children learn and how to best support learning at our school.  Our families support teacher training, thanks to the dedication of organizing fundraising projects that enable our teachers to go to training in other cities and visit other Reggio inspired schools throughout the country.  


We are a part of a collaboration with the University of South Florida as a practicum site for their interns as they study early childhood education.  We welcome other early childhood centers and professionals who are interested in the Reggio Emilia approach to visit our school and learn how to adapt it to their own uniqe situations.   




bottom of page