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"This is Not a Behavior Problem...It's a Design Problem"

by John Rosenow
July/August 2015
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/this-is-not-a-behavior-problem--its-a-design-problem/5022439/

A couple of years ago, on a single day in Los Angeles, I had two experiences that powerfully brought home the importance for children and educators of quality, thoughtful design.

I was in LA to participate in a dedication ceremony for a Certified Nature Explore Classroom. We spent hours at the school, watching the children play in the carefully and collaboratively designed outdoor classroom. While there were dozens of adults there for the ceremony, the children mostly politely ignored us, engrossed in tending the gardens that they had helped design, playing the marimba, building with blocks and other three-dimensional materials they had helped choose, creating art, exploring soil and sand, walking on the balance beam. They were calm, cooperative, and creative.

The teachers had big smiles on their faces, many sharing their stories of how the natural outdoor classroom has done so much for the children. One said — perhaps an overstatement, perhaps not, based on what we saw: “We no longer have behavior problems.” 

The teachers also said family involvement in the school had blossomed with the creation of the outdoor ...

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