Outline – The Prepared Environment
A) Definition: Prepared environment is one of the major foundation of our work. For any living organism is the environment that supports the development of the organism optimal potencial. Every living organsm has certain environmnet requirements. A human being is a living organism. A prepared evnironment for the child is an evnironment both physical and human that allows the child to reach his full human potencial. The prepared environment has to take into consideration the child’s personality, culture which the child lives in and stages of development.
B) There are two types of environment
A. The physical
B. The Human
a)The characteristics of physical environment:
Space: If the space is too big we try to make it smaller. So we adjust to fit the children’s needs. We make it larger by removing materials and smaller by dividing with shelves. Light: Natural light is the best; full spectrum. The next best thing is full spectum bulbs. If using artificial light, it must be energy efficient. In any environmnet, the younger child should have the room that has the most natural lightening. Temperature:There should not be a great difference between the indoor and outdoor environment. First 2 weeks of life babies room should be warmer than usual. Thereafter the same temperature as for adults. It is best to have radiant heated floors for the babies in this environment. If this is possible in a toddler community,, use a small carpeted area if the children are going to gather on the floor. Furnishing: Furnishing need to be functional, manageable by the children and have some aesthetic value. As the children get older and they begin to walk the furnishing need to be light but sturdy. Sounds: Some spaces are acoustically challenged that you can hear echoes. To help absorb sounds we can hang curtains, pictures, plants ans acoustic tile ( do not paint because it affects the absorbency.) Materials: there should be purposeful materials that support the child’s development in all aspects. We should not put something in the shelf just because it is cute. It should be something that the child likes, is interested in, attracts the child and something that is stastically arranged to the shelf from the simplest to complex. We are always observing the use of the materials and if they are not used or are abused we remove them from the environment. Materiasl are disigned to serve as a broad age of children. Safety: Everthing in the environment needs to be safe. All materiasl and ascpects of the room- inlcuding temperature, shatterproof glass for windows and doors, no tiny pieces on materials that children can choke on. Use non toxic paint and plants. The child is free to use the environment for their development and we should not worry about the safety issues.
Behaviour: This is extremely critical when working with children under 3 because of the power of the absorbent mind. Children absorb the positive and negative behaviour they witness in their environment. Children become hyper-vigilant in emotionally unhealthy environments. Children absorb the dynamics of relationships around them, healthy and unhealthy. Dynamic: Between physical and human- no matter how beautiful the physical enrionment is, if th e human environment is not healthy, it negatively affects the children. Children under three have no defenses. They absorb whatever is going on as normal way things should go. Dynamic impacts rountines, schedules, and relationships with individual children. Optimal potential of humans must be role modeled by the adults.
C) Kinds of Prepared Environments
1)Womb :The first environment for the child is the womb. The womb is warm and dark and light awareness. Sounds in there are muted and the baby is covered with amniotic fluid. So the materiasl in there are the placenta, thhe umblilical cord and the amniotic fluid. Mother should not take drugs. She needs to minimaze...
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