Developmentally Appropriate Environment

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In a developmentally appropriate, well organized environment, children grow and learn. The teacher is responsible for creating a pleasing environment that reflects the needs and interests of the children. The classroom should be designed to promote self-help and independent behavior.

Well planned space is arranged to meet the needs of the children in the classroom. The Core of DAP suggests the teacher should consider what is known about child development, learning, individual children, and social/cultural contexts when designing a classroom. Many pieces of the environment can influence how a child feels in the classroom. The text Planning and Administering Early Childhood Programs states that “aspects such as color of the walls, type of lighting, sound can impact how successful a child is in an environment” (The Core of DAP). Colors can be chosen based on the light already available in the classroom. Lightly pigmented pastels with a few intense highlight colors work well in classrooms with natural sunlight (Decker, 2009). “Red is a good choice for areas planned for gross motor activities and concept development activities; yellow is good for music and art activities; and green, blue, and purple are effective in reading areas” (Decker, 2009, pp. 126-127).

Natural lighting should prevail in the classroom and other lighting should be as close to natural as possible. “Some lighting will be direct and some will be indirect, fixtures will be mounted at various heights, and task lighting will illuminate workspaces where children and adults need to see details well, such as when they are reading and writing. Because lighting should be tailored to meet children’s specific needs, dimmers are good additions to the lighting plan” (Decker, 2009, p. 127).

Sounds in the classroom can affect children’s behaviors. “Studies show that noise affects children’s behavior. Using materials that reduce or eliminate noise can be beneficial in the classroom” (Herr, 2008, p....
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