How is the environment the 3rd teacher?

How is the environment the 3rd teacher? 

“We value space because of its power to organize, promote pleasant relationships among people of different ages, create a handsome environment, provide changes, promotes choices and activity, and provide the potential for sparking all kinds of social, affective, and cognitive learning. (Loris Malaguzzi, personal communication 1984)

It is human nature to value and respond to our environment. We know the environments we feel safe in, that we feel creative in and that contribute to our sense of well being.  Learning is no different, no matter the age or the subject. We know that children who feel safe, who feel secure, who have a sense of belonging and who feel inspired by their environment respond by becoming engaged and therefore respond to learning opportunities.

For the environment to act as the third teacher, the environment needs to be considered thoughtfully to promote wonder, movement, collaboration and to inspire and encourage children to respond and engage with learning by being creative and innovative.

Look at the learning environment thoughtfully in relation to:

  • physical layout
  • aesthetics
  • movement and flow
  • placement and set up of resources
  • emotional climate
  • inspiring invitations

Does it engage the learner?

Does it promote interactions and collaboration?

Does it feel comfortable?

Does it promote questions?

Does it encourage engagement and creativity?

Does it promote space for quiet reflection?

Does it allow for flexibility?

Enjoy this movie and consider how it can inspire you to develop your environment as a 3rd teacher.

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