Little Treehouse Nursery > Blog > Uncategorized > The Environment as a Third Teacher: Nurturing Curiosity, Creativity, and Belonging

The Environment as a Third Teacher: Nurturing Curiosity, Creativity, and Belonging

by @LittleTreehouseBangkok on November 16, 2023

In the realm of early childhood education, the Reggio Emilia approach stands as a beacon of innovation and holistic learning. One of its core principles is the concept of the environment as a “third teacher,” alongside adults and other children. This philosophy underscores the profound impact that surroundings can have on a child’s development and well-being. 

A Space for Exploration and Growth 

At Little Treehouse Nursery, we embrace the Reggio Emilia philosophy and meticulously curate our environment to foster a sense of wonder, exploration, and belonging for our young learners. Our spaces are designed with the child’s perspective in mind, ensuring that every corner invites curiosity and creativity. 

Aesthetics and Natural Elements 

Our classrooms and ateliers are imbued with an aesthetic that is both stimulating and calming. Natural light streams through windows, reflecting our commitment to transparency and visibility in the learning journey. The beauty of our gardens and outdoor spaces extends the learning environment beyond the walls, providing opportunities for children to connect with nature and engage in imaginative play.

Open-Ended Materials 

We carefully select a variety of open-ended materials that serve as catalysts for learning provocations. These materials, ranging from art supplies to natural objects, spark curiosity and encourage children to explore their own ideas and hypotheses. 

A Responsive and Adaptable Environment 

Our environment is not static; it is ever-evolving to adapt to the ever-changing needs and interests of our children. We maintain flexibility in space, scheduling, and materials, allowing for a dynamic learning environment that reflects the co-construction of knowledge between teachers and children. 

A Reflection of Our Community Values 

At Little Treehouse Nursery, we believe that the environment extends beyond physical spaces; it also encompasses the values that permeate our community. As Loris Malaguzzi, the founder of the Reggio Emilia approach, stated: “The environment should act as an aquarium which reflects the ideas, ethics, attitudes, and culture of the people who live in it.” 

Our environment embodies the values of belonging, respect, and collaboration. Children, teachers, and families are valued and seen as integral parts of our community. This fosters a sense of belonging and encourages everyone to thrive. 

Nurturing a Joyful Partnership 

By embracing the environment as a “third teacher,” we create a space where inquiry, creative freedom, and collaboration flourish. Our environment is not merely a backdrop for learning; it is an active participant in the learning process, nurturing the curiosity, creativity, and sense of belonging that are essential for lifelong learning. 

Embrace the Power of Environment at Little Treehouse Nursery

At Little Treehouse Nursery, we invite you to experience the transformative power of an environment that nurtures the whole child. 

Join us and witness how our carefully crafted spaces empower children to become confident, compassionate, and lifelong learners. 

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