This workshop explores the role of the environment in young children’s learning. Research informs us that young children primarily learn through their interactions with the social and physical worlds surrounding them. A learning environment that supports and extends young children’s curiosity, promotes learning in all developmental areas. Materials and space, both inside and outside need to be carefully considered and prepared for children’s investigations and learning. The workshop will also explore how to incorporate and acknowledge children socio-cultural backgrounds and how this enhances their sense of identity.
Anne van Dam
Early childhood education has been my passion for more than 20 years. I have worked alongside children and educators in schools in Rotterdam, Shanghai, Singapore and Switzerland. Since 2000, I have taken on various positions in schools, combining teaching with leadership responsibilities. I have been an IB trainer since 2005, sharing my passion for young children with educators in IB schools in South East Asia. I joined EtonHouse International Pre-School in August 2007, drawn to the school for its vision to establish early childhood education centered on young children’s competencies in making meaning and building relationships. At EtonHouse, I combined teaching with the responsibilities of the PYP coordinator. In June 2008, I became the Director of this school. In August 2011, I moved back to Europe and took on the responsibility of Assistant Principal at the International School of Zug and Luzern. At ISZL, I have developed, in partnership with teachers and other school leaders, a vision for the early years programme at the school. This direction places a strong emphasis on relationships, play, learning environments (both inside and outside) and on making teaching and learning visible to others. A recent move back to the Netherlands has given me the opportunity to work with the PYP development team at the IB regional office in The Hague. I still work for the IB as a workshop leader and workshop developer and also visit schools as an independent educational consultant.
This workshop will be suitable for teachers and leaders working in early years education.
Indoor and outdoor learning environments are a pivotal part of early childhood education. The ongoing preparation of space and materials, in response to children’s interest and the school’s written curriculum, is one of the roles of an early childhood educator.
Please note although content for sessions are indicated, this may be adjusted in terms of timing and participant needs as the workshop progresses.
Building from the known / Creating a community of learners
- Ice Breaker
- Prior knowledge and questions
Role of the environment in young children’s learning
- Theories about young children’s development and play
- The role of the environment in learning
Spaces that support play
- Role of play in young children’s learning
- Outdoor and indoor spaces that support inquiry
- Materials that children can act on, supporting development of creative and critical thinking skills
A deeper look at the role of dramatic play
- Role of dramatic play in young children’s learning: language development, social skills, symbolic competence
- Dramatic play areas –planning and creating engaging play spaces for and with children
Spaces that support children’s developing sense of identity
- Incorporating culture and multiple perspectives in early childhood environments
- The role of the arts in early childhood spaces
Link between Observation and Planning for Learning Environments and Reflection Looking forward
- Observation and planning – adapting spaces/ materials
- Looking forward – Incorporating new learning
Certificates of Attendance will be issued to participants who have taken part in all sessions. Please make sure your personal information is correct in the registration form.