Feb 04 2013
Environment as Teacher
In the early ages, young children are in the process of rapid brain development. They learn and adapt things very quickly. Environment is referred to as “The Third Teacher” Environment has such a strong role in children’s development because they spend most of their time in such settings. Many children spend a large amount of their wakeful hours in early childhood programs. When a child enters this environment, they will reflect on the teacher’s philosophy, values, and beliefs. They see things from these environments and learn how to interact with others, also it gives the child a boost in self-confidence and enhances their social, physical, mental, and cognitive development. The environment provides many opportunities for children to learn and build themselves as a whole. It has to be very open and large. Therefore, the environment should provide age appropriate materials, toys and activities, which help them to develop their cognitive skills. Children’s get happy when they get positive feedback and comments. They are encouraged to do better than before which perfects them at that specific activity. The environment should set up by their age and must interest the child. Every child is different and has different abilities. They all learn at their own pace. The teacher has to make sure the environment has age appropriate furniture, toys, bookshelves, toilets, puzzles, art activities, etc. If there are two teachers in an environment, the child is guaranteed more support and help if they come across trouble. We all come from different backgrounds and cultures. If there is diversity in an environment, children will learn other culture, beliefs, religion, customs, and traditions. This really teaches them the importance of individuality at an early age. This makes them appreciate differences, by spending time in dramatic play and wearing cultural clothes, we can display different aspects of the world. We can also do this with cultural food; trying different types of food will teach children how we all are different and unique. We can also look at multicultural books and songs. Looking at these books and pictures increases the social knowledge for the child. Diversity is what joins countries and people together. It is a very important part of a childcare setting environment. The room I observed has many aesthetics that are pleasing to the eye. The room is very big with all the required elements at the right place. Everything is at children’s height and in reach. There is arts and crafts area, musical area, reading area, dress up area and quiet area. The room has a very big window for natural light throughout the day. The room has different puzzle and blocks sets. The blocks are very lightweight and big so they are good for toddlers. They are good for motoring and sensory skills. Blocks also enhance creativity skills. I also noticed that there were many animals outside the window, which really interested the children in looking outside. Many birds visited the tree in the front yard, which interested the children in looking outside. It gave them a great knowledge of different birds and insects. The musical area had many CD’s. The reading area had many books from diversity to fantasy. The dress area had many dresses that children could wear and pretend to be someone else. The kitchen area had a toy stove and microwave. There was a comfortable zone where children could just relax and lay down. Everything was placed directly at children’s height so grabbing things for children were very easy and putting them back was easy as well. Some positive aspects of this environment were large windows and appropriate placement of materials. Everything was in an alphabetical order. It was easy for a child to grab and put back. The windows were great....