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