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Creative learning environments

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Connie Kazouris

on 14 September 2012

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Transcript of Creative learning environments

Susan EdwardsAmy Cutter-MackenzieMonash UniversityAJEC, 2011 Environmentalising early childhood education curriculum through pedagogies of play In the past, there has been much debate as to whether child-centred play is a sufficient pedagogical approach in childhood growth and development.

Along with this notion was an increase of importance of environmental education as being a key aspect in childhood development.

This journal article examines the three various types of play and the finding from a project conducted aimed at play-based learning. What’s it all about you ask
??? Play based learning and the early childhood curriculum Early Childhood Education & the AEYLF Play -based learning & the Early Childhood Curriculum 3 types of play:
* open-ended play
*modelled play
*purposefully framed play education play Recent research regarding Early Childhood Environmental Education (cc) photo by tudor on Flickr through Environmental Play -based learning & the Early Childhood Curriculum
Play based learning was previously widely seen as learning based on the child’s interests.

The child’s participation in the decisions related to their learning focusing on the individual development of children in relation to their particular developmental stages.

These philosophical and theoretical views can be seen in the works of Frobel and Dewey who saw play-based learning as central to the child’s direct experiences. ??? Many people began to raise thoughts to this child-centred play ??? Is it really all about the child? So what’s happened? The conception of child-centred play had now been shifted to the dynamic relationships between children and teachers within a play-based framework, yet surpasses over teacher directed learning as well. Child centered play >> Children and teacher relationships The Project- Examining Play One of the main ideas of the post-developmental concept to arise included; to what extent are children supported in the attainment of content knowledge through child-centred play, when their learning is predominately free time; choosing to play any activity they wished. They failed to teach knowledge, skills, understanding, dispositions nor make meaningful connections in which learners may acquire, test, refine and reflect on gained knowledge within a clearly communicative curriculum. HOWEVER!... Teacher interactions with the children are important Such evidence suggests that play based learning needs to draw on and recognise children’s existing cultural competencies and to acknowledge and include the role of the adult educator in connecting children’s play activities to various conceptual and content-based ideas.

Teacher planning is also regarded as important when planning for learning; allowing children to simultaneously play whilst gaining knowledge and skill. What is Environmental Education? Environmental education in early childhood is a holistic concept which includes:

•knowledge of the natural world as well as emotions
•the development of a sense of wonder
• appreciation for the beauty and mystery of the natural world
• opportunities to experience the joy of closeness to nature
• respect for other creatures.
•development of problem-solving skills
• development of interest and appreciation in the world around us.
Learning is more than a cognitive process and that emotions play a particularly important role in childrens learning and development. this means that.. Therefore, early childhood
educators should provide opportunities for
children to experience peace, joy, and fascination
with nature because these emotions undergird their
developing knowledge, skills, and dispositions. So what was this research all about? All teachers were to design and implement the three play-types for up to six groups per centre.

Each teacher must choose an order they wish to implement the play-types for example open-ended play, modelled and purposely famed play.

Teachers kept reflective journals as well as video-recording of the three implementations.

The paper focuses on one teacher in particular named Karin. She implements modelled play, then open-ended play and then purposefully framed play with a worm farm. What did Karin do? Modelled Play:
For her modelled play experience she invites children to watch her make a worm farm with some soil, sand and leaves and places them within a jar as a book about making a worm farm lay open beside her.

Open-ended Play:
Karin laid out some materials for the children to make their own worm farms without assisting and watched as the children invented their own ideas of making a worm farm.

Purposefully-framed Play:
Finally, Karin led the children in a discussion about the characteristics of worms and why they are so important in our environment. She then introduced a poem about worms and pointed out the tracks the worms had left in the jars. The findings... The findings of the projects suggested that open-ended play alone is insufficient for supporting children’s leaning .

There was an increased interest within the group which had then lead to the children teaching the rest of their learning centre peers.

Another outcome from the project also outlined that the teachers had also become more aware of their pedagogical strategies and made them think about how to incorporate and implement all three play types in the future.

Three play-types build on each other to form a structure in which the children can continue to build a depth of knowledge.

No one play-type is seen as more beneficial than the other Environmental education has been found to be a crucial element in early childhood education, trying to stay away from child-centeredness and teacher-centred teaching.

This new outlook focuses on relationships between children, teachers and content which can be gained through variations of pedagogies of play, helping to place environmental education in the limelight for early childhood education. Time to PLAY! Open-ended Modelled Purposefully Framed
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