At the beginning of each new term, or session we spend a lot of time and money on decorating our classrooms, do we not?
Let’s examine this practice with a Montessori lens…
In the Montessori setting we talk about the Prepared Environment and not just a classroom.
This environment has several aspects: The physical, material/intellectual, spiritual and social environments.
Even if you are not a Montessori school it would be great to take these aspects into deep concentration and as you do I believe that the learning outcomes and job satisfaction for both your students and teachers would greatly improve.
Let us consider each aspect:
The Physical environment.
When we talk about Classroom decoration this is the one place we usually park our wagons, isn’t it?
It is the one place we consider to the exclusion of all else!
Consider the following pictures:
You can post your observations of these two different classrooms in the comment box below.
My take on this is the following, when we take out time to decorate our classrooms even in the traditional schools, our intention surely is to prepare our environment for the children.
So as we do this, it is important to prepare environments that are beautiful, appropriate, with just enough stimuli and not too much for the child.
We must endeavour to remove any form of detail that may make some children get easily distracted. Cluttered classrooms with no white spaces on the wall or floor become too busy for most children.
It is important for children to concentrate, explore and learn through the manipulation of objects, materials etc. using their hands.
Placing too many decorative elements on the walls, floors or even pieces hanging from the ceilings depending on how much of these we have in our settings could be an over kill!
We will continue this conversation in the next post.