Learning Environments

Asthetics and the physical environment affect children’s learning and behaviour, but the social environment and the interactions with adults in combination with children’s surroundings is what really affects dispositions.

Although the environment informs what kind of learning is happening without a significant other to facilitate and support fascination and imagination the physical environment can become somewhat irrelevant. Kathryn Delaney in Waking the ‘Third Teacher’: the whys and hows (2011) made a good point that the environment and teachers often limit themselves to compliance with rules and regulations.

Providing more open ended resources always with a present adult, even if just to be there as an available role model while nga tamariki are making there own choices of play can observing  these adults actions. I believe that it’s true having space is part of creating a welcoming environment but it is the people that make a the space warm and encouraging.

It is people who put in place routines that can be stifling to imagination and perseverance building. It is people who need to plan and provide opportunities for all learners.

I like this teaching practice goal from the same article above – (provide) “an environment where a learning behaviour is actively stretched and strengthened” nice! As teachers we are helping children to be open to learning. In the same article Guy Claxton (2010) is quoted as saying that teaching has 2 purposes – one is to grow knowledge the other is build childrens ability to grow more skills and understandings.

I love the idea of creating learning invitations and being always mindful of teaching intentions as well as following and assessing childrens own self directed learning.

The environment is important in childrens learning in that it should reflect them as belonging and being valued, but these things can only occur when responsive adults provide an inclusive and inviting learning space.

“Any teacher that can be replaced by a machine… should be!” Arthur C Clarke



Why Teach?

*1. Is it okay if the Ministry of Education drops the current wage/salary attestation requirement for ECE services?

What are your thoughts on this? All teachers should have some qualification, with 80% to degree level, Centre attesting to this should be rewarded accordingly

*2. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement:  “There is a need for early childhood teachers who are not kindergarten teachers and are not covered by a collective agreement to have some form of minimum wage protection that is above the adult minimum wage of $15.25 an hour”.

Pre school age children are the countries greatest asset therefore their professional carers should be supported in staying with and furthering their abilities and careers, minimum higher rates with these rates increasing as qualifications increase ie more for dip, degree, masters etc….


Is it okay for teachers counted within the minimum legal adult to child ratios at services to not be required to be working with the children and be able to leave ‘the floor’ to do admin or other work? (this would make it possible to count those attending meetings, in the office, doing washing, etc. as being part of the minimum adult-child ratio for supervision)   

Don’t have an opinion on this
Face to face, eyes on, giving positive role modeled attention to children is what matters most.  A teacher not on the floor is not observing, scaffolding, guiding, facilitating or supporting children’s learning – not to mention it’s just not safe!

*4. Are you

an employee working at an early childhood service (employees include paid managers, supervisors, kindergarten teachers, teachers, visiting teachers/ coordinators, relievers, etc)
an employer or provider of an early childhood service
a student 
an in-home educator who is a private contractor and not an employee
Other (please specify)

*5. Are you with an early childhood service or group of services that are

community-owned or publicly-owned
privately-owned (e.g. by a person or people,  by a company,  or private family charity)
or not associated directly with any particular early childhood service or ECE group

Thank you for your answers and your time in responding

Time for change

Giddy up I say, it’s time to play. For more than 5 years in the same role I studied for my degree in teaching, I have finally begun to mold my own beliefs. I am grateful for my beginnings and every person I have observed and worked alongside, for each one has helped me decided how I want to be part of children’s learning.

Last Friday the awesome Kristy brought us tickets to to see Nathan Wallis talk about the development of 3 – 7 year old’s WOW one of the best talks I have seen. I am reinvigorated and re inspired to push the message that under seven year old’s grow and learn best by having a responsive adult support and acknowledge their emotions, strength’s, interests and encourage their developing working theories in the context of their community and culture – Whew that was a mouth full!! but this is what I believe.

Now armed with Nathans research backed ideas, a philosophy of engaging children’s minds through activity based wonderment and a understanding and nurturing disposition I’m ready to take on a new challenge. Had a great first day at my new centre in Kaiapoi and am looking forward to making a difference with new families and colleagues.