Theory of Teaching and Learning: The Role of Learning Environments

Day Early Learning’s Theory of Teaching and Learning is the foundation for how we accomplish our mission to prepare children to thrive in Kindergarten and beyond. Everything we do is aimed at nurturing each child’s social, emotional and educational needs. Our ultimate goal is not only to prepare children for kindergarten, but also to inspire a lifelong learning journey.

How Do Learning Environments
Influence a Child’s Ability to Learn?

When your child attends Day Early Learning, each day includes experiences that foster creative expression, cognitive development, social and emotional growth, motor skills and problem-solving skills. Teachers intentionally create environments and provide appropriate learning materials to allow your child to explore and learn on their own, as well as provide support in learning new skills.

Our infant classrooms are organized with safety and exploration in mind. You will see a variety of learning materials that support the development and mastery of new skills. In our toddler classrooms you will see several different learning stations such as art, science, dramatic play, library, blocks, puzzles and more. Individual and group activities in our preschool and pre-K classrooms are designed to provide enrichment in all areas of development, and are based on the teacher’s specific observations of each child’s interests, skills, and current developmental level.

What Makes an Early Learning Environment Successful?

A nurturing and stimulating learning environment helps lay the foundation for a child’s holistic development, fostering their cognitive, social, and emotional growth. There are six key elements to optimize learning in the classroom: 

  • Relationships: Responsive and caring relationships establish the secure base from which children can explore the world.
  • Understanding Context: Each child must be understood within the context of their individual family, community and experiences.
  • Positivity: Each child’s positive attributes are identified and recognized.
  • Play: Play is crucial to children’s physical, intellectual and social development.
  • Access to Resources: Each child has access to the educational resources they need to thrive.
  • Predictable Context: Each child thrives in the context of predictable relationships, routines and actions.

Learning Environments Should:

Be visually appealing, inviting and engaging

  • Reflect thoughtful organization and intentional arrangements to spark curiosity and engagement
  • Provide learning materials that are accessible and ample to meet the developmental needs of each and every child
  • Promote discovery and exploration through engaging and thought-provoking materials
  • Reflect real-life experiences and the curriculum through authentic materials
  • Predominately display children’s current work

Celebrate the uniqueness of each child and their family

  • Represent children and their families throughout the classroom and school environment in a respectful manner
  • Accommodate diverse family structures, cultures, abilities and backgrounds through representative materials
  • Recognize, invite and encourage children and families to share their language, culture, traditions and special skills, hobbies and interests in the classroom, school and organizational community

Promote engagement, stimulate curiosities and encourage expressions of children’s emotions and ideas

  • Maximize choice and promote creativity
  • Foster daily routines that are predictable and consistent but responsive to the interests and needs of children
  • Adjust regularly, yet maintain consistency, to reflect current learning objectives, skill levels, interests and needs of the children
  • Support the expression and identification of all emotions through materials and space
  • Support successful navigation of independent play and interactions with others through materials and space

Everyone in our Day Early Learning centers empowers children with essential skills.

Our learning environments help build essential skills and core knowledge.