Understanding how children learn (How Children Learn) helps us to understand how to set up and develop the learning environment. Curriculum and learning environment are most effective when they compliment each other. The learning environment should include both teacher directed and child directed activities.
When planning the learning environment the following areas should be considered
Content of curriculum and environment should be connected and both should be connected to the individual learning styles of the children.
Learning centers are a great way to
- provide self-initiated and directed activities
- provide learning experiences that meet individual abilities
- provide learning activities that compliment individual learning styles
The teacher's role is to create an environment that encourages the processes of discovery, problem solving and independent thinking. The environment should provide multiple methods of learning and take into account the learning styles of the individual children. Skilled teachers work hard to ensure that each day's experiences are interesting and exciting.
When determining if a skill has been learned by the child, observation is key. Does the child understand how to use the material provided? What can the child complete or accomplish independently? Your observations provide information on how each child learns best so that you as teacher can ensure the best learning experiences for the child.