In line with SEGi’s vision to place quality education within the reach of willing minds and natural talents, the School of Education recently conducted a virtual event with Ms Cayenne Lim, design director and co-founder of A Moxie Associates Sdn Bhd, to share her experience in designing effective learning spaces for young children. This is in line with the school’s ongoing efforts to increase student knowledge, skills and working practices that match current demands and trends of the early years sector.
Holistic development in the early years is critical in building a solid foundation in the physical, intellectual, language, emotional, and social well-being of children. It not only provides essential building blocks for children to problem solve and learn, but also supports children to gain confidence and self-motivation to reach their full potential.
An important aspect of holistic development is the learning environment of the child. According to various pedagogies in early childhood (for example, the Reggio Emilia Approach), the learning space of a child has equal significance to an educator. Simply put, the environment is perceived to be the third teacher in children’s overall growth and learning.
Adults can create opportunities for learning by designing and organising the learning spaces of children. This opens up diverse types of environments which aid in the learning process of children to emerge in a more spontaneous manner (for example, during free play). A well-designed environment can support and enhance all areas of children’s development and learning, just as a poorly planned environment can detract from overall development and learning.
During the virtual event, Cayenne shared her meaningful experiences in creating an effective environment and learning spaces that support children’s learning. She explained that from a designer’s perspective, it is important to apply theory into practice when it comes to selecting flexible materials and open spaces to have a more child-centred learning experience. She also made her session interesting by sharing photos of case studies and projects that she has worked on before.
The event ended with a question-and-answer session. The participants who joined the event (which includes students from SEGi College Kuala Lumpur’s Diploma in Early Childhood Education Programme) shared enthusiastically that they had gained better understanding in exploring principles and designs of learning spaces as a part of childcare curriculum. The School of Education looks forward to organising more events focusing on creating high-quality and knowledgeable preschool educators in Malaysia.