A BRIEF HISTORY OF HARRIS DEVELOPMENT CENTER FOR CHILDREN
The Harris Educational Center for Children (HECC), now Harris Development Center for Children (HDCC), began when the Kindergarten Department of Harris Memorial School was established in 1922 by Mrs. Brigida Fernando (nee Miss Garcia). She has just graduated from Columbia Teachers College, USA. She pioneered a Kindergarten class at P. Paredes, Sampaloc, Manila, the former site of Harris Memorial College. This school became the laboratory for students majoring in Kindergarten Education to practice the theories they learned in the classroom. The opening of the Kindergarten Department and the laboratory school made Harris the “Pioneer of Preschool Education in the Philippines”
Ms. Brigida Garcia, during those early years, promoted “Progressive Froebelian Education” under the influence of Patty Smith Hill, who was given the name the “Great Froebelian” in the New York Times in 1923. Ms. Garcia brought home with her a progressive Kindergarten philosophy, including samples and measurement of facilities and equipment that were ideal for a good Kindergarten. The program was interrupted by the war.
In 1948, the Kindergarten Department received government recognition and the teachers consequently were awarded a Junior Teacher’s certificate. Twenty years later, in 1968, the degree of Bachelor of Kindergarten Education was recognized by the Ministry of Education and Culture. This recognized degree in Kindergarten Education was the first to be offered in the Philippines. By this time, Harris Memorial School gained college status, becoming Harris Memorial College (Harris for brevity). The laboratory school, which was popularly called Harris Kindergarten School, became Harris Kindergarten-Nursery School when it opened a Nursery Class in 1965 to accommodate 3- and 4-year-old children. In 1978, it became the Harris Educational Center for Children (HECC).
In 1983, the Association of Christian Schools and Colleges designated Harris Memorial College as the center of Early Childhood Education. In September 1985, the National Historic Society officially recognized Harris as the Pioneer in kindergarten Education in the Philippines. The marker that carries the recognition was installed in April 1986.
In 1987, Harris Educational Center for Children was granted a five-year accreditation by the Association of Christian Schools and Colleges. The accreditation status was maintained by the College for every resurvey visit by the Accrediting Agency from 1987 until its last visit in 2014.
In 1988, Harris Memorial College transferred to Bo. Dolores, Taytay, Rizal from Taft and General Luna Streets, Manila. In 1989, upon the completion of its building and facilities, the Harris Educational Center for Children was also transferred and its name was changed to Harris Development Center for Children (HDCC).
In 1994, Harris was granted DECS permission to offer Grade 1. Thereafter, year after year, grade level had been added until it was fully recognized by DECS by its completion of Elementary grade in 1999.
Harris Memorial College continues to find ways by which its preschool program could become responsive to the changing needs of the society. At present, Harris is involved in different programs, such as publication of preschool workbooks, seminar-workshop for the continuing professional development of preschool teachers and administrators, preparation of training modules for teachers who have no background in Early Childhood Education, consultancy and support programs to church-related kindergarten schools, and recent publication of preschool curriculum. Harris is also in the process of preparing its resources for the offering of a graduate program in Early Childhood Education.
We believe that children are created in the likeness of God and are endowed with varied abilities and potentials. Each child is unique, with various learning styles, needs, interests, and thinking preferences.
We believe that the role of early childhood education is to prepare children for life-long learning.
We believe in a learner-centered education that considers and respects the nature and needs of the learners. Teachers act as facilitators of the teaching and learning process, and serve as second parents as well.
We believe that learners learn best through carefully and collectively designed group and individual activities.
We believe that special programs should be developed to address the needs and nature of the learners, as well as the demands and needs of the society.
A leading institution of learning for a Christ-like life and service
To develop Christ-like leaders through holistic education for the transformation of the world.
As an academic institution, we commit ourselves to the pursuit of academic excellence whereby learners develop love for learning, critical thinking, creativity, leadership skills, passion for excellence in academic, the arts and athletics. We also seek to develop learning communities among teachers, administrators, staff and pupils through formal and informal academic discussion, effective guidance program, and cooperative learning.
As a social institution, we are committed to teach the values of democracy, respect for the rule of law, service to others, and respect for cultural diversity.
As a Christian School, we are deeply involved in the mission of providing quality education in a Christian atmosphere. We seek to develop learners who have strong faith in God.
As a laboratory school, we seek to produce faculty researchers who can contribute to the continuing development of innovative ideas, such as curriculum and pedagogy in early childhood education.
SPECIAL CHARACTER OF THE PRE-SCHOOL PROGRAM OF HARRIS MEMORIAL COLLEGE
The special character of the Preschool Education programs of Harris Memorial College results from a rare combination of different qualities.
A thematic approach to teaching and learning
Our institution’s methods focus on developing learner’s skills to analyze and think critically rather than simply memorize concepts. Our learners go through a rigorous curriculum composed of Language, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, and Christian Values while teachers serve as facilitators of the learning process by motivating pupils/students and designing a meaningful thematic instruction for them. In the process, pupils/students learn to be responsible and independent in their studies, and to work on their own and with others.
A laboratory school of Harris Memorial College
The school’s relationship to the college influences everything from our quality academic standards, to the spirit of inquiry that pervades our classrooms. The college conducts research studies that seek to continuously improve the quality of teaching and learning in the preschool classroom.
A community of Learners
Our pupils/students come from different areas in the province of Rizal. They come from a broad spectrum of religious faith and socio-economic backgrounds. They live with a respect for different cultures and a commitment to make the world a better place.
A family of learners
The school is a lively, close-knit family where every pupil/student is known and cared as an individual member of a Christian community.
THE FRAMEWORK OF THE HARRIS PRESCHOOL CURRICULUM
The Harris Preschool Curriculum is based on the philosophy of learner-centered education. The curriculum revolves around the child considering his/her nature, interests and needs. Provision for children’s learning areas have been identified to provide holistic development for the learners. It views the child as the primary source of curriculum and the center of the teaching and learning process. The curriculum includes the following features:
- A Christian environment
- A holistic approach to learning
- Integrated learning
- Active learning by the children
- Facilitation and design of the learning environment by the teachers
- Play as a method of instruction
- Provision for using local language as medium of instruction
- Strong foundation for different subject areas
- Developmental appropriateness
- Focus on the development of learners’ creativity and critical thinking
- Relevance to Philippine context
GENERAL GOALS OF HARRIS DEVELOPMENT CENTER FOR CHILDREN
DOMAIN I: PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT, HEALTH, AND SAFETY
- Develop good health habits
- Understand the importance of safe physical environment
- Develop basic self-help skills
- Develop fine and gross motor skills
DOMAIN II: PERSONAL AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
- Express personal feelings and emotions appropriately
- Develop positive self-concept
- Develop positive social skills
- Develop interest for learning
- Develop positive behaviors
DOMAIN III: LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION DEVELOPMENT AND
- Understand different types of sound
- Listen effectively to formal and informal situations
- Listen with comprehension to a variety of spoken forms of languages
- Use language in varied ways
- Use appropriate language and expressions in conversations
- Recognize words and symbols, and picture symbols
- Read words correctly and with comprehension
- Develop interest in reading, various forms of literatures
- Demonstrate skills and interest in writing
- Develop vocabulary skills
DOMAIN IV: COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT
- Understand patterns, relationships and classifications
- Understand number concepts
- Understand basic mathematical operations
- Develop knowledge of spatial concepts
- Apply mathematics in daily life situations
- Understand the different parts of the human body and their functions
- Understand various seasons and weather conditions
- Observe and investigate plants and animals
- Observe and investigate non-living things
- Observe and investigate matter and energy
- Develop knowledge about the earth and other heavenly bodies
- Understand the unique characteristics of every Filipino and their families
- Demonstrate knowledge of their neighborhood and community
- Demonstrate knowledge about their country
- Develop basic concepts of history
- Develop awareness and respect of cultural diversity
DOMAIN V: CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT
- Express one’s self through a variety of art media
- Understand different art elements and techniques
- Express one’s self through a variety of musical experiences
- Develop knowledge of different music elements and techniques
CREATIVE MOVEMENT AND DRAMA
- Express one’s self through a variety of creative movement and drama experience
- Develop knowledge of movement elements and techniques
- Appreciate natural beauty
- Appreciate culture and various forms of visual and performing arts
DOMAIN VI: SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT AND VALUES FORMATION
- Understand that the Bible contains stories about God and God’s people
- Understand that God is great and loving to all people
- Develop knowledge about the life and works of Jesus
- Understand the value of praying
- Internalize Christian values