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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET | Why Classroom Design Matters | paying attention to the classroom environment. If only I knew then what I know now . . . Well, suffice it to say that my early childhood program would have looked very different. Granted, the classrooms in my child care center weren’t horrible, and there were quite a few elements of which I am still proud, includ- ing turning a stairwell landing into a “bear cave,” a small space that was home to a huge stuffed bear where a teacher could read with her group of children. But the majority of the program was merely functional, without any attention paid to the “extras”—creative lighting solutions, inviting window places, and the use of natural materials, to name a few. This book has grown out of my personal need for an expanded understanding beyond the insular field of early childhood education. Architecture was always instinctively intrigu- ing to me, and my physical space has always impacted my mood. But having a daughter who was studying to be an architect brought those instincts to the forefront of my atten- tion. Once I was in the mind-set to understand, blending architectural insights with early childhood expertise seemed quite natural and COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL | 7 |