So much of the teaching of children in early learning settings revolves around the importance of a child's environment and its impact on their development. Children are unique individuals with heightened sensory needs and special scale considerations. They move through and perceive space in a totally different way than adults. How can architectural form respond to the unique needs of children, supporting and reinforcing the pedagogy of a children's center? Over the last 100 years, many divergent educational philosophies have evolved with a wide breadth and depth of thinking and with an equally wide range of architectural responses. The different educational programs and the consequent needs of the staff also impact the architectural outcome and how children's needs are managed. Author Sarah Scott has explored the architectural designs of exemplar early childhood centers around the world. Scott examined 50 centers in 10 countries with a wide range of educational philosophies that have influenced the designs. These included: Scandinavia with its free government-provided childcare and outdoor forest schools * Italy, home to the highly influential Reggio Emilia pedagogy * Germany and Switzerland, for Steiner, Froebel, and Environmentalism * Japan's adventurous architecture and Shinto roots * the UK with its comprehensive Sure Start program combining early learning and adult outreach. All of these countries place a high emphasis on the environment as educator and have produced some beautiful and award-winning architecture. This book will benefit anyone who is interested in the design of built environments for children. It is an exploration of numerous early learning experiences and of the innovative and inspirational building designs that have developed out of each pedagogy. It shows what architecture can offer to early learning and what early learning requires from architecture.
Architecture for Children