Throughout my years of study and work with children I have always highly valued the physical environment and the atmosphere of the learning environment. This could be the outdoor play areas, how the indoor classroom is designed and decorated, in the corridors, the resources available for the children, the interactions you see between the teachers, children and families and the resulting relationships that are formed. All of these elements are key elements of the learning process. They say that the learning environment is a child’s third teacher, demonstrating how critical designing and organising the school/centre/classroom/ playground can be.
During my 3rd year studies I enrolled in my second science unit where we completed a CREST Technology project. I designed my ‘utopian outdoor preschool environment’. I developed my knowledge, understanding and appreciation for the field of technology whilst creating a very useful tool for my future teaching practice. To view this project click here
This year (2013) I have been researching the many new and wonderful ways to maximise learning in early childhood settings, through exploring teacher’s online blogs. My favourite by far have been http://www.letthechildrenplay.net/, which has an massive array of wonderful and beautiful ideas for early childhood settings. My favourite pages have been;
- Mirror, mirror on the Wall
- How to create an irresistible outdoor playspace for children
- Beautiful learning spaces in Reggio Emilia inspired preschools
Some other blogs/sites I have been getting ideas and inspiration from are;
- https://www.facebook.com/FlightsofWhimsy Flights of Whimsy
- https://www.facebook.com/ReggioChildrenInspired Reggio Inspired Children
- http://www.science-sparks.com/category/pre-school-science/ Preschool Science
- http://msbarbarasblog.blogspot.com.au/ For the children
During my studies in 2012 I completed a unit called Building Curriculum Continuities where we built an Environments Resource Collection. In this project we were asked to explore the wonderful world of early childhood settings and find our favourite environments for children. This was a great project, as it really showed what each of us valued in an EC setting and what we saw an educationally valuable for young children.
I chose an expansive outdoor environment, a reading corner, an indoor/outdoor active play environment, music room, art studio, an engaging nursery room, a few whole classroom blueprints due to their balance of active and quiet play areas, a family corner, corridor library and a corridor music library.
This project will help me in the future as I will understand what I will look for in an EC setting, when I look for teaching positions, and how I will want to set up, organise and decorate my classroom.
Below you will also find some more beautiful learning environments I have discovered throughout my work in the EC field.