The Kidogo Way
The “Kidogo Way” is a play-based, child-centred and holistic approach to early childhood care and education. Kidogo’s curriculum aligns with the Kenya Early Childhood Development Service Standard Guidelines and the Kenya Institute of Education Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) syllabus.
Our curriculum places a particular emphasis on play, problem-solving, and social-emotional learning. Rather than adhere to a specific philosophy of early childhood education, we draw upon research on children’s learning and development to provide an alternative way of delivering the Kenya national early childhood education and development objectives. Adapting research that intentionally-planned, child-centered learning experiences can promote children’s readiness for primary school and beyond, we seek to foster a lifelong love of learning in all of the students and families we serve.
While academic skills are also embedded in our program, we strive to present them in developmentally-appropriate ways rather than simply memorizing the ABCs and 123s. This allows for more complexity and challenges than a one-size-fits all, heavily scripted model. This ensures our teachers gain experience in adapting learning experiences for a wide range of abilities and learning styles, resulting in the best possible development outcomes for Kidogo Kids!
Play is the principle foundation of the Kidogo Way, and drives our curriculum methodology. Play must be incorporated into the daily routine for all Kidogo classrooms, both planned and free-play.
Play is a process through which children actively manipulate and explore ideas and materials that interest them. Play promotes all aspects of children’s development, and helps children learn how to make decisions, negotiate social relationships, solve problems and express their feelings and ideas. Research shows that academic instruction impacts children’s learning in the short-term, the benefits fade over time. In contrast, high-quality, play-based learning experiences have a longer lasting impact on child development, particularly for disadvantaged children.
The Kidogo Way advocates for highly child-centred learning, ensuring the curriculum and activities fit their needs and talents to instill a long-term love of learning.
Child-centred teaching approach shifts the focus from the teacher to children, where teachers consider children’s interests and abilities when planning activities and learning experiences. Child centred teaching provides children with hands-on opportunities to learn, and construct their own knowledge in collaboration with peers, teachers, and other teachers. When education is child-centred it sustains the children’s interests and increases their motivation in school, encourages their talents and builds their self-esteem, while also providing opportunities to build on prior knowledge.
Age-appropriate activities are core to the Kidogo Way, ensuring children are not pushed too fast or memorize information, but understand concepts and build skills to succeed in school and life long-term.
Age-appropriate education is an approach designed to promote young children’s optimal learning and development. The approach is grounded in knowing how young children develop and learn, understanding the individual child and incorporating the local culture into expectations of children. This approach involves teachers meeting young children where they are, and helping them meet challenging and achievable learning goals.
The Kidogo Way promotes seeing the “whole child”, addressing their emotional, physical, social and cultural needs, in addition to their cognitive / academic needs for optimum development results.
Rather than focus on academic development alone, holistic development seeks to address all needs of children. This means children are stimulated to achieve development milestones across all developmental domains, including cognitive, language, socio-emotional and physical development. By providing holistic development instead of providing pressure for specific academic outcomes, teachers allow the child to feel confident and provide the opportunity to master skills they need for life.