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ERIC Number: EJ769527
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
ISSN: ISSN-0164-8527
Making Your Environment "The Third Teacher"
Carter, Margie
Exchange: The Early Childhood Leaders' Magazine Since 1978, n176 p22-26 Jul-Aug 2007
The Italian Schools of Reggio Emilia are acclaimed for the stunning environments their educators have created, provoking us to recognize the instructive power of an environment. Their schools vibrantly exemplify learning environments that dazzle the senses, invite curiosity and discovery, and foster strong, respectful relationships. Unlike American early childhood classrooms, their walls are not covered with alphabet letters, calendars, and job charts. American programs have been developing a "culture of compliance" aimed at regulations, not dreams for children, and homogenization and institutionalization are spreading widely across the United States. The author of this article argues that it's time that we do some careful reexamination to see how our standards and rating scales have begun to limit our thinking, and how commercial and political interests are shaping more of what we do. She suggests that teachers can create flexible environments that are responsive to the need for children and teachers to construct knowledge together. Her recommendations go beyond merely thinking of a classroom environment as "home decorating" with a "superficial window dressing mindset," and instead emphasizes that the environment is itself a powerful teacher. Thinking about the environment as a communicator and shaper of values can stir up anew the significance of early care and education work. Appended is a worksheet for goal setting and addressing barriers.
Exchange Press, Inc. P.O. Box 3249, Redmond, WA 98073-3249. Tel: 800-221-2864; Fax: 425-867-5217; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Italy; United States