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Integrated Spaces for Children Development Essay

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Updated: May 3rd, 2020

Visual Floor Plan

Visual Floor Plan.

Introduction

The age group, setting, location

This program is designed for prekindergarten learners who are below five years. The setting is a special home in the community where parents can take their children in the morning and come for them in the afternoon.

It should be located at the center of the community where parents or guardians may find it easy dropping and picking their children. It should be away from an industrial area or a major highway where noise is very common.

The facility should be connected to the national grid, and it should also have running water. Other than the classroom setting that has been provided above, the facility should have a secure compound and a well-maintained playing ground where learners can play after a given period of learning.

There should be security apparatus within or near this facility, especially the firefighters and law enforcement officers. It should be easy for the parents and guardians to easily monitor the activities going in the facility as a way of getting an assurance that their young children are in safe hands.

Values

It is important to define the values that these children will be taught while they are in the facility. As noted before, this institution is a prekindergarten facility where children are brought to interact with the environment and members of society. The most important value that these children will be taught is teamwork and appreciation for diversity.

At this stage, children get to learn a lot about their environment. It is at this stage that they should learn about the need to work as a team (Foley & Leverett, 2010). This value will be imparted to them through a play-based curriculum strategy. The interactive walls will enable these children to play different games as a group. When they get out of their classes, they will also play as groups.

This way, they get to value the power of unity and the need to support one another in order to achieve success as a team. This value will help them in their later stages of academic and social lives. The researcher chose this approach to ensure that children understand the value of teamwork, positive social interactions, and the need to ask for help whenever they are faced with tasks or scenarios which are beyond their understanding.

According to Jones and Welch (2010), it is important for children to start appreciating the existence of diversity at the very early stages of their lives. The United States of America is one of the most culturally and racially diversified countries in the world.

The issue of racial intolerance has affected the ability of American society to get integrated and to address social and political problems as one unified group. This setting will help in creating a new generation that does not consider race, religion, or gender as a reason why one should be considered special over others.

At this early stage of life, children may have problems understanding why they have different skin color, hair, or eye color from that of their peers. This learning environment should explain this variation in their physical appearances and make them appreciate this diversity.

The curriculum at this stage should be nature-based. Just like they will be learning about the existence of different plants and animals, they will also learn that there is diversity in humanity and that this diversity does not mean that we are different in the context of being human beings. The researcher chose this approach to ensure that learners grow up knowing about different socio-cultural practices of people in society.

Children

How space will reflect the evidence of children’s interests, learning, and culture

This space is uniquely designed to reflect the evidence of children’s interests, learning, and culture. At this early stage, the interest of children is to learn about their environment and engage in various forms of games.

This interest is effectively met in this environment. The classroom has been designed to allow for easy movements of these children because it is expected that their games will be extended to the classrooms. Tables and chairs are arranged in a way that will allow these learners to understand themselves and their environment easily.

The large safe is also provided to offer enough space where these young learners can store their food and other materials. This was not only meant to help the learners keep their items safely but also to enhance responsible behavior among them.

Space is designed to enhance learning among these children. Every inch of the room can help these children learn something new. It starts from the large interactive smart boards where children can learn about nature and play various games that can enhance their knowledge in various fields.

The tables and chairs are arranged in a way that can enable two or three teachers to pass knowledge to a group of four to six learners. The learners can also learn about themselves by just observing each other and appreciating the uniqueness of human beings. They will also get to learn that different items are meant for different tasks. They use chairs, tables, smartboard, the safe, and their own bags for different purposes.

Space must reflect the desired culture that these children are expected to embrace. As stated above, the focus will be to promote a culture of teamwork and tolerance of cultural diversity. As shown in the above design, almost everything in this space should be done in teams.

This starts with the sitting system that will be used in the space. It is designed to ensure that learners sit in groups of four-six individuals. This way, they get to learn that our society embraces unity and close collaboration of different parties.

They get to learn that different people have different strengths and weaknesses and that working as a team helps in overcoming these weaknesses for a greater success of all. Space also promotes tolerance of cultural diversity among the learners.

These learners will be interacting with their peers from different socio-cultural backgrounds. In this setting, they will get to learn that there are so many factors that bring them together than the fact that they are from different backgrounds.

They get to learn that as human beings, they share dreams, values, and pains, among others, which may not necessarily be defined by their race. This will ensure that by the time they are leaving this institution, they will have a better knowledge of the existence and importance of diversity in our society.

How the classroom provides different spaces for children’s different needs

The classroom has been designed to provide different needs for children in the most effective way possible. At this early stage, it is necessary to ensure that cognitive needs for the children are adequately met.

According to Harrison and Sumsion (2014), songs are very important in children’s cognitive development. They easily learn concepts when they are delivered in the form of songs. The smart boards can facilitate such songs whenever necessary. The relevant teacher can also engage his or her learners in songs during the learning process.

Cognitive development can also be facilitated by allowing the learners to understand different shapes and colors based on what is in their immediate environment. In the classroom, there are different items of varying shapes and colors that can facilitate the learning process.

According to Cecire (2015), children in prekindergarten stage of learning have physical needs that should be met in their learning environment. They should be provided with a space that can enable them to play at any time without exposing them to any form of harm. This classroom is designed uniquely to meet this need. The chairs and tables are arranged to leave enough space for the movements of these children.

Everything in the space has been properly fitted to eliminate the threat of objects falling on children completely. The socio-emotional needs of the learners are also met successfully in this setting. It is expected that these children may be bored at times. The smart boards can provide a variety of entertainments to the learners to eliminate boredom. They can also engage in educative games other than following the normal learning curriculum used by learners in schools.

Number of children and teachers to inhabit the space

Space is designed to hold a maximum of four tables. Each table will have four to six children. Two tables will be managed by one teacher. Ideally, space is meant to host sixteen children and two teachers.

However, it can host up to a maximum of twenty-four children and two teachers if it is necessary. Each teacher will be expected to handle 8-12 learners at a given time. The two teachers will be expected to be in these classrooms at the same time.

In this space, the two teachers will work as a unit to meet the different needs of the learners. This in itself will make the learners appreciate the need to work as a team, one of the core values that they are expected to learn at the time they will be graduating from the institution.

Spaces

The purposeful, intentional, functional use of space

This space was designed to purposefully meet the learning needs of the prekindergarten children who are aged below five years. The main target groups are children aged four and five years whose parents spend most of the time at work. The intention was to encourage the parents to stop the habit of leaving their children under the care of nannies when they go to work.

When left at home, these children spend most of their time watching movies, and this does very little in developing their cognitive, physical, and socio-emotional needs. When they are brought to this facility, they get to learn as a group, engage in games, and share in various factors. The function of the space is to facilitate learning, playing, and sharing among the learners who are yet to join kindergarten.

This space is uniquely designed to ensure that the learners are kept secure and warm at all times. They are also protected from any negative forces, such as undesirable films that may corrupt their minds at this early stage of development.

Space also offers the relevant teachers a perfect opportunity to understand the specific needs of the learners and meet them without straining. As explained above, this space is in a secure compound where children can play simple outdoor games such as soccer.

According to Weinstein and Davido (2013), young children need to engage in physical activities for proper mental and physical development. They need to be physically active to ensure that they have a healthy development of muscles, brain, heart, and other important organs and systems in the body.

This is made possible in this space and its immediate environment. In this class, these children can engage in physical activities such as walking to the interactive wall and back to their seats without any major strains.

Materials and design

Different materials were used in designing the room to make it appropriate for the target population. The carpet on the floor was made of fine wool to ensure that the children remained warm and comfortable. The tables and chairs were made of wood and leather to enhance comfort. On the walls were properly fitted with smart boards to enhance learning.

How the environment acts as an additional teacher

The environment within this space acts as an additional teacher. Most of the concepts that these children learn are on the interactive wall. These children can learn a lot from this wall if they are given the necessary support. The students themselves offer a rich source of learning. They are an embodiment of diversity, which is one of the most important aspects of knowledge they are expected to learn.

Relationships

How space encourages various relationships

This space encourages various relationships among peers, adults, the community, materials, and the world. Space is designed to facilitate constant interaction among the learners. They interact when they are sharing the tables when sharing the smart wall, and when playing in the compound. They get to understand one another in the best way possible.

Space also facilitates close relationships of learners with adults, especially the teachers who are always with them at all times. Space also makes it possible for learners to interact with the community. Every single day, parents flock this institution twice a day to drop and pick their children.

This means that the entire community visits this facility quite often. They get to interact with these children and show them love, which promotes social development (Feinberg & Keller, 2010). The learners in this space get to interact with various materials that assist in their learning.

They get to appreciate the importance of tables and chairs, the smart wall used in disseminating some instructions, and the entire classroom that facilitates the learning process.

How space allows for different types of relationships

In this space, different types of relationships are facilitated. The first form of relationship is developed at the individual desks, where learners sit in a group of four, five, or six people. In these small groups, they get to learn about important virtues such as sharing, listening to others, and reaching consensus.

They get to develop close social and academic ties with the members of their group. These children can also develop a more personal relationship with their peers in the class, especially when they realize that they have common interests.

Learners are offered a perfect opportunity to develop a close relationship with their teachers. The small manageable number of students makes it easy for the teachers to have a more personal relationship with each learner in the class.

They get to share issues that affect them in class with the teachers. This space may also help parents to develop a close relationship with their parents. Teachers can assess the individual children and identify the specific issues that the parents were not aware about.

By sharing these issues with the parents, these parents get to know how to handle their children, which improves their relationship. The environment also supports the creation of large groups in the form of a class of students or teams that play different outdoor games.

Conclusion

The space that has been designed for prekindergarten children is very appropriate in promoting a positive relationship at various levels. These children get to interact among themselves and learn about issues such as diversity and social values that define our community.

They also interact with teachers and parents who help them understand various social and educative concepts about life. This space has also been designed to facilitate physical activities among these children as a way of ensuring that they have positive physical growth.

References

Cecire, M. S. (2015). Space and place in children’s literature, 1789 to the present. Farnham: Ashgate.

Feinberg, S., & Keller, J. R. (2010). Designing space for children and teens in libraries and public places. Chicago: American Library Association.

Foley, P., & Leverett, S. (2010). Children and young people’s spaces: Developing practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Harrison, L. J., & Sumsion, J. (2014). Lived spaces of infant-toddler education and care: Exploring diverse perspectives on theory, research and practice. Dordrecht: Springer.

Jones, P., & Welch, S. (2010). Rethinking children’s rights: Attitudes in contemporary society. New York: Continuum International Publishers Group.

Weinstein, C. S., & Davido, T. G. (2013). Spaces for children: The built environment and child development. New York: Plenum Press.

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