Our Environment as a ‘third teacher’

As a Reggio-inspired school, our learning environment is inspired by our visits to the schools of Reggio Emilia in Northern Italy; they provoke us to realise the influence the built and natural environments have on children’s learning. Reggio believes space is a key source of educational provocation, teaching, and learning; spaces facilitates discovery when it encourages children to explore, experiment, and express new ideas, knowledge, and actions.

Modern Learning Environments, or MLEs, facilitate a freedom of movement; between different disciplines / subjects, mediums, and learning spaces – the ‘classroom’ is both inside and outside. They are adaptable, always varied, changing, emerging, full of possibilities, interconnected, open, and with different perspectives / viewpoints, since these are most conducive to an approach to education where children are viewed as creative, curious, capable, intelligent and as active participants in their own learning.

“…we value space because of its power to organize, promote pleasant relationships among people of different ages, create a handsome environment, provide changes, promote choices and activity, and its potential for sparking all kinds of social affective, and cognitive learning” (Gandini 1998, p.177).