Imagine spending recess in a national park or exploring one of the country’s top children’s museums. For students at The Discovery School at the Bay Area Discovery Museum (BADM), that’s just a typical day. The Discovery School is the only museum-based preschool in California, and we draw upon BADM’s 25 years of child-directed, open-ended, inquiry-driven learning, as well as best practices in creativity development. Located at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge on 7.5 acres in Fort Baker with quick access to beaches, natural habitats, historic batteries, and hiking trails, it’s the ideal setting for creative learning.
The Discovery School follows the Reggio approach, an early childhood educational philosophy that nurtures children’s deep curiosity and believes they can drive their own learning. That notion of inquiry-based teaching drives our mission. Our ultimate goal is to spark a lifelong passion for exploration and creative problem-solving in children that will prepare them to thrive throughout their education and beyond. Our alumni graduate with an authentic love for learning and innovative thinking instilled in them.
Low Student to Teacher Ratio
Our low student to teacher ratio allows our highly qualified and supportive teachers to work closely with students in individual and small group settings. The Discovery School’s collaborative, innovative approach to teaching and learning focuses on discussion, embracing multiple perspectives, and understanding the unknown.
Students spend plenty of time outdoors exploring the beaches and habitats of Fort Baker, fostering a deep connection to the natural world. Additionally, we have regular 100% Outdoor Days. Our students have exclusive access to BADM’s exhibits and resources, including when the museum is closed to the public on Mondays. Thought provoking, intimate roundtable events hosted in collaboration with BADM’s in-house research hub, the Center for Childhood Creativity, provide opportunity for parents and teachers to come together to learn more about the latest research in early childhood education. There is an emphasis on building fellowship between The Discovery School families and within the larger BADM community.
As of fall 2016, The Discovery School is officially a laboratory school. As a laboratory school, or lab school, The Discovery School allows top university researchers to conduct studies on child development in a preschool setting. The lessons and research that will come out of our preschool will shape the national dialogue on how educators design experiences to set kids up for lifelong success.
In addition, as a lab school, The Discovery School teachers receive access to cutting edge research from the leading thinkers in cognitive development and early childhood education. This gives our teachers the opportunity to implement this innovative research immediately in the classroom.