Marshall University Early Education STEM Center



A Place for Happy, Curious, and Creative Children

Our learning environment is influenced by the Reggio Emilia Approach.  This co-constructivist theory promotes an exchange between educator and child in which both explore, experiment, inquire and solve problems and questions relevant to daily life.   The program exists to promote a child-initiated, teacher supported curriculum in which children’s curiosities about the environment are supported, encouraged and explored.  We believe that children are strong, capable and resilient; rich with wonder and knowledge. Every child brings with them deep curiosity and potential and this innate curiosity drives their interest to understand their world and their place within it.

pic5The Fundamental Principles of the Reggio Emilia Approach:

Children are capable of constructing their own learning

Children are driven by their interests to understand and know more.  They form an understanding of themselves and their place in the world their their interactions with others. There is a strong focus on social collaboration, working in groups, where each child is an equal participant, having their thoughts and questions valued. The adult is not the giver of knowledge. Children search out the knowledge through their own investigations.

Children are communicators

Communication is a process, a way of discovering things, asking questions, using language as play. Playing with sounds and rhythm and rhyme; delighting in the process of communicating. Children are encouraged to use language to investigate and explore, to reflect on their experiences. They are listened to with respect, believing that their questions and observations are an opportunity to learn and search together. A collaborative process rather than the child asking a question and the adult offering the answers. The search is undertaken together.

The environment is the third teacher

The environment is recognized for its potential to inspire children. An environment filled with natural light, order and beauty. Open spaces free from clutter, where every material is considered for its purpose, every corner is ever-evolving to encourage children to delve deeper and deeper into their interests. The space encourages collaboration, communication and exploration. The space respects children as capable by providing them with authentic materials & tools.

The adult is a mentor and guide

Our role as adults is to observe (our) children, listen to their questions and their stories, find what interests them and then provide them with opportunities to explore these interests further. The Reggio Emilia Approach takes a child-led project approach. The projects aren’t planned in advanced, they emerge based on the child’s interests.


An emphasis on documenting children’s thoughts 

In Reggio-inspired settings  there is an emphasis on carefully displaying and documenting children’s thoughts and progression of thinking; making their thoughts visible in many different ways: photographs, transcripts of children’s thoughts and explanations, visual representations (drawings, sculptures etc.) all designed to show the child’s learning process.

The Hundred Languages of Children

We believe that children use many different ways to show their understanding and express their thoughts and creativity. A hundred different ways of thinking, of discovering, of learning. Through drawing and sculpting, through dance and movement, through painting and pretend play, and that each one of these Hundred Languages must be valued and nurtured. We emphasize hands-on discovery learning that allows the child to use all their senses.



More about our Center:


Marshall University – Corbly Hall


3, 4, and 5 year olds


STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, The Arts, and Mathematics) Experiences

Studio Provocations:

Block Play

Dramatic Play

Studio Work


Spanish Integration and Global Studies

Cooking Experiences

Additional Programs:

Habits of Healthy Kids

Children’s Innovation Project

Beautiful Stuff – Reusable Materials


Family Nights

For more information contact Tarabeth Brumfield, Program Director

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