Cathy Downes Slides - University of Strathclyde

Report
Workshop : The Learning Environment
Cathy Downes and Liz MacAulay
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How can the environment teach children?
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What influence does the environment have on
children’s learning behaviours?
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What does the environment tell children about
values and expectations of learning?
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How can we ensure that we listen to children and
support young children’s competencies in
expressing their perspectives about the learning
environment?
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Prohibitive or discouraging
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Permissive and affording
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Inviting and encouraging
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Expansive, powerful and potentiating
Claxton (2010)
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What might expansive, powerful and
potentiating environments look like?
Discuss and jot down key words and/ or
phrases which capture for you, the notion of
an expansive, powerful and potentiating
environment
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In an expansive learning environment staff plan
and organise the space, resources, materials and
activities in ways which creates an inviting and
challenging environment for every child.
The aim is to provide an environment in which
children are ready, willing and able to engage
profitably in learning.
We can be more or less disposed to learning.
Positive dispositions to learning can be
supported and encouraged- or not!
Adapted from Delaney (2011)
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What is clear is that early childhood centres
and schools do change children’s learning
orientations, for better or worse. (Claxton and Carr
2004)
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The learning environment can steer children
towards or away from developing the
attributes of effective learners.
Look at your photographs and consider the
following questions........
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What does your environment tell children about
values and expectations?
How can the environment influence, strengthen,
broaden and enrich children’s learning
behaviours and dispositions?
How does your environment ‘speak’ to children
about what they can do, how and where they can
do it and how they can work together?
What sort of messages and invitations are
presented?
Adapted from Delaney (2011)

How can we ensure that we listen to children
and support young children’s competencies
in expressing their perspectives about the
learning environment?
Clark (2010)
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Observations
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Photo books
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Tours and map-making
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Interviews
Clark (2010)
‘For Malaguzzi, the business of teachers and
learners was to learn and relearn together. In
this way children are not shaped by experience
but shape it themselves.’
‘The purpose of research that teachers do,
either on their own or with colleagues, is to
develop and use strategies that will be useful
to children’s learning. They go from research
into action or from action into research. It
becomes a spiral process.’
Smidt (2013:24)

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