For early childhood education centers, flexibility is particularly critical for guided play. Guided play is a form of curriculum delivery that can strongly support the academic and socio-emotional development in young children. This is done by totally immersing students with instructional topics and by finding a balance between traditional direct instruction and free-play in early childhood education. Research continues to support scaffolding a guided play environment to support direct instruction. “Studies favor an epiphenomenon position in which child, adult, and environment characteristics that go along with play” (Lillard, et. al 2013). Guided play gives framework to a subject or topic while providing children with various learning styles the ability to process the information. Ultimately, this leads to a deeper understanding and knowledge growth.
The physical environment of the learning space greatly enhances the ability to provide flexible guided play. Careful consideration of fixed elements within academic spaces can lend spaces to easy reconfiguration between lessons and topics. This opens up a variety of instructional and play station options for any given curriculum series. When spaces can quickly change and adapt for different layouts, teachers are given more flexibility on how they can present their curriculum. The built environment should accommodate this flexibility and give the support to provide guided play delivery methods in an effort to involve the students.
Education Center Renovation
Flexible Learning Spaces
Holistic Learning Environments
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