The IB’s Primary Years Program identifies three pedagogical tools for special focus by Early Years practitioners: Environment, Relationships, and Play.
Environment: Teachers strategically design safe learning spaces which accommodate self-exploration and are conducive to different activities including pretend-play.
Relationships: We build close personal relationships with the children and foster relations between students. Close relationships help children feel safe, included, understood, and valued.
Play: Young children learn best when they integrate play with content. Teachers offer chances for self and group initiated pretend-play, as well as guided social games.
In addition to these tools, Waldorf methodology emphasizes imitation as the main pedagogical tool in the early years. In fact, Waldorf teachers consider children’s powers of imitation so serious, they advise adults to be mindful of their inner-lives, in the case students might imitate their way of thinking! Young children are natural imitators and teachers can use this power to advance their learning goals.