Academic Program at Rosemont

The teaching method at Rosemont American International School is designed to help the teacher weave the many elements of a comprehensive early-learning curriculum together.

Let’s look briefly at these curriculum ingredients and the role each plays in a quality early childhood program.

Play-Based Learning

What is play?

First, we have to understand what “play” really is. For children, playing does not mean participating in games with adults, especially when those games have been designed to educate. Those activities can make learning more enjoyable, but it is not playing.

For an activity to be considered play it generally includes the following elements:

Children playing

1) It is self-chosen. This means the children choose what to play, how to play, and how long they want to play. If those choices are made for the child, it is no longer considered play.

2) It must be enjoyable for the child. Of course, there can be some frustrations or disagreements, especially when playing with other children, but the overall emotional aspect is enjoyable for the child. And if it is no longer enjoyable, they have the right to stop.

3) The activity doesn’t have outside rules imposed on it. The children should have time to explore and discover during play. You’ll notice that the children will create their own rules while playing together, and those rules will change as the game progresses. That is an important part of the learning process.

4) The activity is process-oriented. This means that the child is doing the activity for the joy of doing it. As adults, if something does not have a result or goal, we often feel that it is a waste of time. Something we often forget is that it’s not always the destination that is important, but the journey. It’s while we are on the journey that real growth occurs. That thinking is still very natural for children and is important to their development.

5) There is generally an aspect of make-believe in the activity. Children use their imagination and realize they are stepping out of the real world.

What is play-based learning?

Based on the definition of play we just discussed, play-based learning means we create an environment that children can play in and explore without having outside motivations imposed on them.

It means that for at least part of the day, the children are allowed to freely choose what activities they want to participate in, and who they want to do them with. We do this by creating learning centers in the classroom. For example, there may be a building center with blocks, an art center with art supplies, a math center with puzzles and logic games, etc. Then the children are free to move around the centers and find the activities that interest them, or create new games using the materials provided in unexpected ways.

This doesn’t mean the teachers do nothing. The teachers are there to observe, offer assistance when requested, ask questions and maintain a safe environment. But during this time the teachers don’t tell the children what to do or how to do it. When children are playing and exploring there is no right or wrong way to do something, that is what they are discovering for themselves. We may think that by telling them the answer or showing them how to do something that we are helping them learn it faster, but what we are really doing is robbing them of the experience of learning for themselves and becoming creative thinkers.

What are the advantages of play-based learning?

The importance of play in the life of young children cannot be overemphasized.

Play is so important to optimal child development that it has been recognized by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a right of every child.

The advantages of play-based learning include:

  • High engagement. Since the children choose the activity, they are motivated and interested.
  • Development of social skills. They learn to deal with others and work together.
  • Better self-regulation and impulse control. This results in fewer behavioral problems in later years.
  • Improved cognitive development.

One important thing to remember is the long-term effects that we are looking for. While it is true that children in play-based learning programs may not score as high on standardized testing in preschool and kindergarten, after first grade they are at least equal to their peers and often do better, due to their faster cognitive development. And by the time they have reached 8th grade, studies have shown that children who played more when young have a significant advantage over their classmates in many areas.

Many studies over the decades have proven that play contributes to all facets of development for children. These studies have also shown that focusing on academics during the preschool and kindergarten years has such negative effects as stress, lack of creativity and problem-solving skills, poor social skills, and increased behavioral problems.

Our goal at Rosemont is to prepare our children for the future. That requires much more than just memorizing facts and figures. True success in life requires being able to confidently deal with problems and creatively solve them while working together with others. These are the skills that play-based learning helps develop.

Multiple Intelligences

Multiple Intelligences

The concept of multiple intelligences is the newest consideration teachers might take into account when planning for individual differences. The Theory of Multiple Intelligences comes from the work of Howard Gardner and was first published in 1983 in his book, Frames of Mind.

Until Gardner proposed the existence of seven, and now eight, ways of demonstrating one’s high ability levels, popular belief held that intelligence was measured by the score obtained when taking an intelligence test, primarily the Stanford Binet. The problem with the intelligence test was that it measured only an individual’s linguistic and mathematical skills. Gardner argued that there were other ways an individual could be smart. For example, musicians demonstrate a high ability to perceive, discriminate, transform, and express musical forms. Actors, dancers, and athletes demonstrate expertise in using their whole bodies to express ideas and feelings. Craftspersons and sculptors show facility in using their hands to produce or transform things.

Gardner not only expanded the identification of the number of ways an individual can be intelligent, but also the definition of intelligence. He suggests that intelligence has more to do with the capacity for solving problems and fashioning products in a context-rich and naturalistic setting than it does with performing isolated tasks on a test.

Gardner believes that intelligence does not just exhibit itself in the score on tests. As a matter of fact, he used a stringent system of eight criteria through which all potential skills, talents, and mental capacities have to pass before they are determined to be true human intelligences. Thus far, only eight ways of being smart have passed the test to be recognized as intelligences.

Gardner also believes that everyone possesses all eight intelligences in varying magnitudes. Some intelligences are stronger than others, and the profile of intelligences varies from person to person. Each of the intelligences can improve with practice and will continue to be enhanced over a lifetime.

The eight intelligences:

Linguistic Intelligence

Linguistic (Word Smart)

The capacity to use numbers effectively ( e.g, as a stroller, orator, or politician) or in writing (e.g, as a poet, playwright, editor, or journalist). Most teaching today is geared to the expectation that children absorb information by listening, reading, speaking, and writing.

Logical – Mathematical (Number Smart)

The capacity to use numbers effectively (e.g, as a mathematician, tax accountant, or statistician) and to reason well (e.g as a scientist, computer programmer, or logician). This intelligence also follows traditional teaching practices, using number facts and scientific principles, as well as observation and experimentation. Children who are logic smart respond well to “what if…” questions.

Mathematical Intelligence
Spatial Intelligence

Spatial (Picture Smart)

The ability to perceive the visual-spatial world accurately (e.g, as a hunter, scout, or guide) and to perform transformation upon that perception (e.g as an interior decorator, architect, artist, or inventor) This intelligence involves sensitivity to color, line, shape, form, space, and the relationships that exist between these elements. It includes the capacity to visualize and graphically represent visual or spatial ideas.

Bodily-Kinesthetic (Body Smart)

The ability to use one’s whole body skillfully to express ideas and feelings (e.g., as an actor, an athlete, or a dancer) and facility in using one’s hands to produce or transform things (e.g., as a craftsperson, sculptor. Mechanic, or surgeon). This intelligence is related to physical movement and the knowledge/wisdom of the body, including the brain’s motor cortex, which controls bodily motion.

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence
Musical Intelligence

Musical (Music Smart)

The capacity to perceive (e.g., as a music aficionado), discriminate (e.g, as a performer) musical forms. The musical learner also has the ability to pick up sounds and remember melodies. The musical learner also has the ability to pick up sounds and remember melodies. This intelligence is based upon the recognition of tonal patterns, including various environmental sounds, and also sensitivity to rhythm and beats.

Naturalist (Nature Smart)

The ability to discriminate among living things (e.g, As a botanist, biologist, veterinarian, or forest ranger) as well as sensitivity to other features of the natural world (e.g., as a meteorologist, geologist, or archaeologist). The adeptness to recognize and classify cultural artifacts such as cars or sneakers may also depend upon naturalist intelligence.

Naturalist Intelligence
Interpersonal Intelligence

Interpersonal (People Smart)

The ability to perceive and make distinctions in the moods, intentions, motivations, and feelings of other people (e.g. as a teacher, politician, actor, or philanthropist). The ability to process information both verbally and nonverbally through interpretation of all forms of dance, hand gestures, body movements, and music (e.g, as a dancer, mime, actor, or musician). This intelligence operates primarily through person-to-person relationships and communication.

Intrapersonal (Self Smart)

The ability to act adaptively on the basis of that knowledge. This intelligence includes having an accurate picture of oneself – strengths and limitations, awareness of inner moods, intentions, motivations, temperaments, and desires, and the capacity for self–discipline, self-understanding, and self–esteem (e.g, as a theologian, psychologist, psychiatrist, or a philosopher). This intelligence is very private and uses other intelligences for self–expression.

Intrapersonal Intelligence


Learning centers provide a perfect format for helping teachers plan and implement activities that will appeal to the full range of intelligences. They allow children to engage in active, hands-on, concrete experiences, and ongoing interaction with appropriate materials, equipment, and people in the learning environment. Children have the opportunity to approach learning through one of their high ability levels, as well as the opportunity to practice using other ability levels. Learning centers enhance all the ways in which children are intelligent.

Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences is now widely accepted in most educational settings. In the past decade, it has become a core criterion in curriculum activities that address each of the multiple intelligence. The activities are typical experiences that are usually offered on a regular basis in a developmentally appropriate environment.

Developmental Domains

Whole-child instruction supports the concepts that young children are developing in several areas or domains simultaneously and that each of these areas of development is equally important to the child. Not only are the developmental domains equally important, but they are also interwoven. It has been said that the social-emotional well-being of the child fuels the intellect. Early brain development research states that social-emotional development and cognitive development walk hand in hand. A child cannot learn when his or her emotional and social well-being are threatened.

Children’s growth is divided into four developmental domains.

  1. Cognitive growth centers on the mind and how the mind works as children develop and learn.
  2. Physical growth has to do with the development of the body and its parts.
  3. Social growth centers on the development of skills for interacting with others.
  4. Emotional growth refers to the development of self-esteem and self-control.

Lessons at Rosemont support all four areas of growth each day

Subject Areas

Preschool children are learning math, science, social studies, reading (language), music, and art -the same subjects as older children in elementary school. For example, when children are building with blocks they are learning math concepts, such as counting – knowing the number of blocks needed for their structure- and geometry-learning the names of the shapes of blocks and the results of putting two or more blocks together. They are learning science as they explore gravity and balance. They are learning social skills and language skills as they cooperate and communicate with one another in a joint effort to build towers, castles, and forts. Skills and concepts are being learned and taught simultaneously. A master teacher is fully aware of what is being learned and how it is being taught during routine classroom activities.

The Interests of the Child

Research shows that all of us, not just children, have a tendency to take in information related to our interests (Sousa, 1995). Exploring children’s interests helps them relate what they know to what they have learned and helps them apply new knowledge in the right context.