Saturday, 8 April 2017

Before and after... (Palestine)

Today we have continued discussing the third teacher, to create spaces for learning and playing - not a space for learning and a space for playing.
In this process we have discussed gender issues, play-learning balance and children's competence/ability to choose their play/learning. Many rich valuable dialogues, that at times it was tempting to go off topic and explore them more!

In the afternoon we  changed the learning/play space for the preschool at The Freedom Theatre.
here are the before and after photos...

As you can see we made quite some changes... and we did not need to buy anything. I had brought some materials and a box from Sweden with me that could be used here... the rest was things that were already found at the preschool. The idea was to experiment with what we already have... that change can be made with no need of cost.
That we question why we do what we do, to think how will this arrangement of the preschool support the children's learning and play... here the focus was on bringing play and learning into all areas and not to have the separated. To allow the children more freedom to choose their activities and the opportunity to be independent in taking materials themselves. There was a focus on creating a reading and storytelling corner... to allow the educators and children to continue with the storytelling that they have learned previously on the course (Theatre/role play with Agneta Regell and stories and philosophy with Sue Lyle).
We also took things down from the walls - many things... things that told us that the teachers cared about the children and wanted the children to be happy... to be replaced in time with things the children have made, or documentation about what the children have been doing... so that the rooms shares with all visitors what the children are learning.

In the coming months I will be leading a course about documentation...

Here are some more photos of the preschool now waiting for the children...

story telling area... with books to read and also figures for the children to recreate the stories and make their own stories up

an art studio area has now been brought into the room... this is completely new to the room. It will be interesting to see how this works. 
As with all processes it is now important to observe the children. Will they use the room as the teachers expect? Will there need to be changes made quickly... after all we do not know how they will react to having paint freely available to them now... and how will they manage with the carpet... is there a need to have plastic on the floor in the art area... or to move the art area outside so that spills are easy to clean?
Always, always, we end up with more questions... but this is a good thing, it means we can continue to learn.
I am excited to hear how the children react.
And it was wonderful to see all the educators work together to create this learning space. The idea is that they continue to help each other in the near future, so that with their combined ideas they can offer all their children new and inspired learning spaces.


  1. I love it Suzanne. Having worked in the space before the changes would be good to see what it feels like now and how the children use it.

    1. I have taken some photos... but internet is very slow today... so I will wait for another evening to upload images and share the children's reactions...