Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The right environment for optimal learning

Hi there! Today we are going to discuss about learning environment for young learners. Based on my own experience, positive learning environment will definitely lead to their physical and mental development. Just imagine if the children are left in an unorganized, noisy, and crowded space and they are being instructed to listen to the lesson, do you think they will be able to pay maximum attention to the lesson? Obviously, they can’t! This is because some of their attention is being channeled to other elements of the class that are making them feel uncomfortable. Thus, it is important to have the right ambiance to optimize the learning process of young children. 

The initial step in creating a positive environment for infants, toddlers, and preschool children is to examine how young children learn and develop. As a teacher, I do realize that each stage of development has unique characteristics that influence how a child will experience his or her environment.

For example, infants and toddlers learn about their world by acting on objects and materials in their surrounding. Thus, their learning environment should be designed to cater this need by providing them opportunities to explore their surrounding freely and safely. That is why at LETZHOP, materials (e.g. ball, soft toys) that can promote such learning to infants and toddlers are stored strategically so they can easily play and explore the learning materials. 

For preschoolers, their learning generally takes place when there are meaningful activities that involve doing and moving. For example, when I taught my 3-4 year old students the word ‘sniff’, I allow them to sniff the smell of a fragrance that the centre had prepared for the class. Based on my observation, they automatically understood the meaning of the word ‘sniff’ once they were allowed to do the action by themselves - sniffing! 

Besides preparing the right materials for optimal learning, areas at LETZHOP’s centre also clearly communicate to preschoolers what kind of activities occur in a specific area. For instance, the flower table that they have in the class is their work station where they can color and draw, while the space in front of the smart panel is the place where they can watch Elmo’s World as well as sing and dance. When they recognize the culture of each area, this will definitely encourage and improve their language interactions, socio-dramatic play, and the construction of experiences based on their level of understanding. 

As a conclusion, I would like to emphasize that all children have their own learning style and need and they should be exposed to the right environment to optimize their attention, thus, their learning ability. 

Authored by, 
Teacher Zeeda
LETZHOP Bukit Jalil

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