OGO stands for developmentally appropriate education and is based on the developmental psychology of Vygotsky. Within OGO we assume that children learn through interaction with others and/or his/her environment.
Development-oriented education works with themes. A theme lasts approximately six to eight weeks. It is therefore necessary that you can go in different directions with a theme. It is very important that the children find the theme interesting. Often a topic comes up in class that the children want to know more about. The teacher then works this out into a theme.
A theme always begins with starting activities that stimulate the children's curiosity and connect them to the content, such as a visit to a museum, a stimulating text or an appealing photograph.
Themes are concluded with a special activity that often involves the parents. An example is an art exhibition in the classroom. Themes that have been developed at the Kindercampus Zuidas in recent years: We Garden, We Save Artis, The Court, The Soup Restaurant, Heroes and Icons.
Zone of closest development
A central concept within OGO is the zone of closest development. The zone of closest development consists of those activities that a child wants to do, but cannot yet do independently. For this it needs another person: a partner who knows more.
Within OGO we connect to the interest of the child, but we always try to bring the child a step further in his or her development by teaching the child new actions. Thus, the teacher's help is always slightly ahead of the child's development.
Social cultural practice
Within OGO, development is considered to be the increasing ability to participate in socio-cultural activities. A socio-cultural activity is, for example, shopping: an activity that is found in our society and to which all kinds of (implicit) rules are attached. For example, a rule in shopping is that you pay when you buy something.
Participating in a socio-cultural activity
Participating in socio-cultural activities only happens if learning is meaningful. Within OGO, meaningful learning is considered to be learning where there is room for both the teacher's intention and the child's meaning. The teacher knows what goals need to be achieved in a given period. We are constantly looking for a balance between the intention of the teacher and the meaning of the child. Only then is there meaningful learning.
When the balance in an activity tilts towards the intention of the pedagogical assistant/teacher (as is often the case with unsolicited direct instruction, for example), the activity will not have meaning for the child and will therefore hinder development. When the balance in an activity tilts toward the child's meaning, there is a chance that a child will not learn to participate in socio-cultural activities, or will learn to do so inadequately.