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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET |  Introduction | Classroom design can have a tremendous impact on your effectiveness as an early child- hood educator. The physical environment of the entirety of your school, as well as your individual classroom, can support successful pedagogy in the following ways: communicating the foundational beliefs on which your program has been built. If this is not currently the case within your school, this should be an area of focused attention for you and your colleagues. Reinforce and Complement Your Teaching Philosophy Any visitor to your program should take one look at your classroom environment and instantly discern your teaching beliefs and philosophy. Are you a constructivist educator? Do you believe in the power of play? Then your class- room should contain complex, open-ended learning centers where the focal point is child- centered play. Are you a Montessori educator? Do you believe in the importance of child-oriented works? Then your classroom should reflect a carefully prepared environment with Montessori materials and curriculum areas throughout. Are you an anthroposophical educator, follow- ing the practices of the Waldorf approach? Then your classroom should be full of natural materi- als, and your classroom walls should be painted in a pale, translucent color. The classroom design, materials, arrange- ment, and colors should speak to all who enter, | 4 | Support Developmentally Appropriate Practices As early childhood educators, our mission is one of fostering a child’s growth and development through developmentally appropriate practices. Children in our programs should be supported through play materials and activities that are appropriate for their stage of development. The physical environment of the classroom is of criti- cal importance in this effort. There are many things to consider when evaluating the developmental appropriateness of a classroom space. Are the play materials safe, and do they foster scaffolding to higher levels of understanding? Are the children regularly exposed to a variety of open-ended materials that heighten their levels of problem solving, inquiry, and creativity? Does the room arrange- ment and the placement of learning centers promote a young child’s need for small, com- fortable spaces that promote collaboration with peers? Are different, yet complementary, play items within close proximity in order to facilitate COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL