Ruslans Vanags

Topics: Working time, Environment, Table Pages: 29 (4890 words) Published: April 12, 2015
Beijing China



Early Childhood (2.5 – 6)
Individually written

Mobile phone #: 13521868506

RESOURCE FILE for Environmental Research
DATE SUBMITTED: October 30, 2014.

Table of Content:

Purpose of the Environmental Research3

Introduction to my classroom environmental qualities4

Classroom detailed plan (before changes)9

My data (observation logs before changes)10

Observation focuses (working well and requiring changes)13

“Environmental changes” - team discussion14

Post changes data (observation logs)20

Classroom detailed plan (after changes)22

Effect of the changes23

Summary 27

Reflection on a project28


Purpose of the Environmental research

“The first aim of the prepared environment is, as far as it is possible, to render the growing child independent of the adult. ”

Maria Montessori, The Secret of Childhood (267)

“Whereas learning within the traditional industrial model of education is viewed as passive activity in which students obtain information, learning could also be an activity which involves the continual negotiation of people with each other and with the resources of the environment.”

Dyck, J. A., The case for the L-shaped classroom

Based on the environmental qualities of the room that is giving to me I had to prepare Montessori classroom for a new 2014-2015 school year for the children mixed age groups 2 ½ - 6 years old. I’ve spend five days to move the furniture and materials from the former classroom and MIA storage into my new room.

Luckily I wasn’t creating classroom environment from the scratch, but with the help of full of wisdom theories and methods of Maria Montessori’s “prepared environment”.
I wanted to build a house for the children, taking into consideration their needs and abilities; the house that will maximize the ability for children to learn and explore, to foster independence and social development in the child. This is why I kept in mind the six principles of the prepared environment (given my Maria Montessori): freedom, structure and order, beauty, nature and reality, social environment, and intellectual environment.

Introduction to my classroom environmental qualities

I’d like to start my research with an introduction of my new classroom first. And for that I think it might be significant to share some of our campus facility details.

In 2012-2013 school years I’ve been promoted to a lead teacher. Our school gradually expanded into a four floors building, and by the time I had to open my new class I still had an opportunity to choose a room on the “way-too-far” (for that time) third floor. I’ve got a spacy room on the sunny side of the building on the 3rd floor. And that first leading year turned to be a very exciting year in my career. I should mention that our campus building is having a huge prism structure with longest sides (sides that have classroom windows) facing south and north. With a hallway right in between of this prism, our school is divided into two parts: “Sunny” and “Shadow” parts. With the time it became crowded. Nowadays all the space has been arranged wisely from the gates to the chimney - all the rooms have been taken –and classes are battling for the place under the sun.

This is why the next summer our school leaders came up with a procedure of switching classrooms so that each class that stayed a year in a “shadow” will have a following year on the sunny side. This was a fair enough idea. Therefore I’ve moved my class to shadow side in a year of 2013-2014, having a mutual agreement that I’m coming back to my old room in 2014-2015.

One day, during my AMTTA summer camp training (2014) I’ve received a phone call from Ellen, our principle: - Hello,...

References: Dyck, J. A. (1994, November). The case for the L-shaped classroom: Does the shape of a classroom affect the quality of the learning that goes inside it? In Principle Magazine, pp. 41-45.
Lippman, P. C. (2002, October). Understanding activity settings in relationship to the design of learning environments. CAE Quarterly Newsletter. AIA Committee on Architecture for Education.
Greeno, J. G. (1998, January). The situativity of knowing, learning, and research. American Psychological Association, Inc. Vol. 53, No. 1, 5 - 26.
Design Share Awards
Maria Montessori, The Secret of Childhood (267)
“Why optimism is always a safest bet” Marc Anderssen.
Meyers-Levy “The Influence of Ceiling Height: The Effect of Priming on the Type of Processing People Use” Consumer Research journal.
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