Educational Philosophy

  • Learn how Pretend City builds better brains through play.

    Featuring Bill Habermehl,
    Former Orange County Superintendent of Schools

  • Pretend City Builds Better Brains

    Pretend City’s educational philosophy is research-driven, experience-rich and will positively help young children to learn in a way that is lasting and fosters a life-long love of learning. Simply put, we believe that children learn best when they’re actively having fun!

    Our philosophy is based on principals put forth by the developmental pioneer, Piaget and repeatedly validated through vast educational research about how children learn most effectively. He found that children learn best when they discover and construct their own knowledge through hands-on rich learning experiences.

    Our educational philosophy also reflects the ideas of noted developmental psychologist Vygotsky in that we believe children have a better understanding of their learning while in a social setting with other learners. When combined, these two learning theories, commonly known as Social Constructivism, produce what we know to be the most effective model for educating young children. It is this educational framework supporting all learning that takes place in our city.

    Over the last decade, we have witnessed the impact of our multi-dimensional educational philosophy coupled with our purposefully designed children’s exhibits and programs. Pretend City Children’s Museum has and continues to produce exciting success-building outcomes in the lives of children.

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    This multi-dimensional educational philosophy, when put into practice through the children’s museum’s exhibits and programs, will produce exciting success-building outcomes in the lives of children:

    • An understanding of how the world works and a sense of belonging within it
    • A positive self-concept and attitude toward learning
    • The development of curiosity, imagination, and visioning
    • A sense of mastery and accomplishment
    • An understanding of new concepts and how to apply them
    • An appreciation for social and cultural diversity
    • Understanding about the vast interdependency of things in the world
    • The skills to exercise and build critical thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving
    • Relationship-building through the pure enjoyment and validation of “playing” with care givers and other learners
    • The skills to communicate and get along effectively
    • Ignition of creativity through a supportive learning environment
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