The Early Childhood Learning Environment

“The learning environment is an important and powerful teaching tool. Much of the early childhood teacher’s work is done before the children ever arrive. If the enThe vironment is set up with the knowledge of how children learn and develop it can positively support teaching and learning. A teacher experiencing difficulty with student behaviour should carefully evaluate the daily schedule, classroom arrangement, materials within each learning centre, and the curriculum.

Best Practices

In creating a positive early childhood environment, the following practices should be observed: Continue reading

Long Term Benefits of a Play-Based Early Childhood

“Research shows that children who engage in complex forms of socio-dramatic play have greater language skills than nonplayers, better social skills, more empathy, more imagination, and more of the subtle capacity to know what others mean. They are less aggressive and show more self-control and higher levels of thinking.

Long-term research casts doubt on the assumption that starting earlier on the teaching of phonics and other discrete skills leads to better results. For example, most of the play-based kindergartens in Germany were changed into centers for cognitive achievement during a wave of educational “reform” in the 1970s. But research comparing 50 play-based classes with 50 early-learning centers found that by age ten the children who had played in kindergarten excelled over the others in a host of ways. They were more advanced in reading and mathematics and they were better adjusted socially and emotionally in school. They excelled in creativity and intelligence, oral expression, and “industry.” As a result of this study German kindergartens returned to being play-based again. Continue reading