The Early Learning Center was established in the College of Education in 1972. It is a partnership between the University of Nevada's College of Education and Washoe County School District. Both organizations provide support for this classroom. The center is administratively a primary-age classroom (grades 1-3) of Lemelson STEM Academy.
The Early Learning Center classroom is designed to help each child learn and be successful at his or her level through play and the active construction of his/her own knowledge. Therefore, students often work in small groups. These groups are unique in that they are flexible, based on individual instructional needs and on common interests among students. Whole group instruction is planned with an open-ended format for all students to achieve at their individual levels, while learning from cooperative small group work.
The mission of the Early Learning Center classroom is to create a nurturing learning environment in which each child can learn and be successful at his or her own individual developmental level. To further achieve the mission, an integrated curriculum is used, incorporating a variety of instructional models, strategies and learning resources.
Classroom evaluation includes a variety of authentic assessments and qualitative reporting. Through continuous assessment, teachers, parents, students and administrators regularly collaborate and consult to create an educational plan for each child.