The following seven principles regarding how children learn constitute the premises on which IDeSiGN is based.
Children learn best when they actively seek what they want and need.
Children are always motivated to learn what they want to know and do what they need to do to get what they want or need. They need experiences that stimulate, guide and challenge this natural motivation to learn.
Children learn best when they use words and images that have meaning to them.
Language skills are most easily acquired through purposeful use of natural language in a meaningful context and through dialog that points out incorrect usage as it occurs.
Children learn best when they are free to explore associations between things.
Creativity, imagination and comparative thinking all depend on the capacity to suspend belief, make analogies, use metaphor, differentiate, and reorganize things in a flexible yet purposeful way.
Children learn best when they express and explain their feelings, beliefs and ideas.
The capacity to communicate is essential to learning. It is the means by which children come to understand themselves, other people and the conditions they experience.
Children learn best when they try to do what they perceive a need and way to do.
Learning by doing makes experience memorable as action in a context. Success is reinforced and errors mark what is to be avoided in similar circumstances.
Children learn best when they evaluate their experience, its content and outcomes.
The child's experience of reality is different than that of adults. They are best able to recognize what they do or don't know, and what measure or result is most useful to them.
Children learn best when they experience something they want to remember.
Children learn from their experiences, not from being told what to remember or think, but from what they value as interesting, exceptional, useful and worth remembering. They remember and relate information to contexts they understand which are often socially and culturally reinforced.