University of Vermont

College of
Education and Social Services

Campus Children's School

Vision Statement

Curiosity. Joy. Empathy. Community.

We value these human qualities above all others and strive to create a school where they are lived and enacted.

We believe that young children are capable of caring deeply about all forms of life, and consequently, that it is our responsibility to nurture and promote children's relationships with the natural world.

These principles and beliefs are central to our efforts to transform the identity of the UVM Campus Children's School to that of ta "green" school, a place where the built and natural environments are integrated and harmonious, where pedagogy embraces the wonder of all things living, and where every indivdual shares responsibility to for the well-being of Earth and all its inhabitants. (2008)

About the CCS


Children Playing Outside with Teacher

Our school began in 1990, drawing inspiration and guidance from many theorists and philosophers, but primarily the work of Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, Uri Bronfenbrenner, and John Dewey.  As an outgrowth of their contributions to education, our school is a social constructivist program that places value on children's abilities and desires to participate in meaningful inquiry related to their multiple layers of community life.

In 1991 we began studying the Municipal Preschool and Infant Toddler Centers in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and found many of our values to be closely aligned.  Reggio Emilia is a city of 150,000 in north center Italy, about half way between Milan and Florence.  The Municipal schools in Reggio Emilia trace their origin to the end of World War II when a small group of citizens wanted to establish schools for young children that would instill a sense of community and shared purpose whose practices would prevent the return of Fascism to their community.

Today, there are 20 Municipal Preschools and 20 Infant Toddler Centers in Reggio Emilia for children 4 months to 6 years of age.  They are widely thought of as some of the best schools in the world for young children.  Being engaged with visits and discussions with other educators about how these schools have implemented their values has resulted in deep and meaningful studies of our own school.  In particular, the value of documenting children's inquiries and using these documents to create curriculum as well as advocating for children has offered us a means of creating a school culture reflective of our values and the broader community.

Last modified May 12 2015 10:48 AM