When you think of the aesthetics of an early education classroom, what do you see?
- Brightly colored plastic toys.
- Shelves stacked high with lesson materials and paperwork.
- Walls covered with color-by-numbers artwork.
- Commercial posters with letters, numbers and cartoons.
Consider how this makes you feel. Are you calm or are your senses overwhelmed with all the colors? Can you find a comfortable spot to relax? Most likely, if you don’t feel comfortable, little ones will also feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed in this type of environment. This is a familiar aesthetic for teachers, but not necessarily the right one. Early childhood experts are beginning to look at new ways to break this antiquated classroom setup by designing beautiful classroom environments filled with nature and natural objects.
“Traditionally accepted notions of what early childhood classrooms should be have persisted because, until recently, they haven’t been challenged.”
Natural, recognizable spaces welcome children and allow them to relax and deeply experience the moment without unfamiliar distractions. A child who is calm, at peace and centered will be able to experience and remember information better than a child who is constantly distracted, uncomfortable and forced into focus.
Beautiful, realistic elements are vital for creating a classroom space that promotes positive cognitive learning. In this thoughtful webinar session, Creating Nature-based Classrooms: Breaking the Aesthetic Code of Early Childhood Environments, Sandra Duncan and Jody Martin encourage teachers to break the traditional aesthetic code by bringing the outside in and creating nature-based experiences for young children to enhance their learning potential.
Click here for a full recording of the webinar.
About the Presenters:
With almost 50 years of experience in the early care and education field, Dr. Sandra Duncan has extensive experiences in publishing curricula and teacher resources, playing with young children, training early childhood professionals, teaching at the university level, designing professional development programs, working with parents and CDA candidates and authoring articles and books.
Jody Martin has 34 years of extensive and diverse experience in the early childhood field. She taught preschool, directed a child care center, and worked at the corporate off1ces of two national child care companies. She is presently the Professional Learning Content Manager for Frog Street Press. Jody has authored several courses for online training companies, written several articles for early childhood publications and authored several books.