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There’s A 3rd Teacher In This Classroom

There’s A 3rd Teacher In This Classroom

Image source: 123rf.com/profile_raweenuttapong

Sometimes interior design can tend focus on the home or even in places where a lot of time is spent, like the office. However, one model places emphasis on a vital space that can often be overlooked – the classroom.

The overall environment in a classroom can have a significant impact on the learning process, and can even affect the way that teachers instruct and how students interact. This is a key concept in the environment as the third teacher model.

Advanced by Reggio Emilia, the concept of the environment as an important teacher is used in many preschool settings. Also, there is a focus on the competency of the young child to play an active role in their own education.

Classrooms that employ this technique are much more than desks arranged in a circle and colorful posters on the wall. There is a thorough thought process behind the layout in a “third teacher” space. The premise is that the more a class is set up for the learner and teacher to spark cognitive interaction, curiosity and provide a nurturing atmosphere, the more learning will be accomplished during instruction time.

Designs that incorporate this way of seeing the class actually invoke many different dynamic zones, all in one space.

For example, areas are usually set aside that invite both small and large collaborative groups to come together. Literacy sections are comfortable and lend to story time, calendar activities and reading based instruction. There are also areas for imaginative play and constructive investigative experiences. Active indoor recreation spots for physical and mental stimulation are also usually included.

Supplies are organized, labeled and easily accessed to support budding independence. Activities are structured, but some time for children’s suggestions are also factored into the schedule so that they can have some say in their learning situation and explore their specific interests, as well as group endeavors.

Designing for such an important space that has to accommodate a lot of people in a limited area can take a lot of involvement and planning, but the payoff can last for generations.

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