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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET | The Importance of Childhood Environments: What Does the Research Say? | requirements—starting with the youngest tod- dlers who adeptly navigate a tablet device or smartphone. We are caring for infants and tod- dlers who will be designing and manufacturing technological devices that do not even exist today. Faced with an ever-changing world that requires adaptability to the knowledge and skills neces- sary for success, one must consider ways in which children’s classroom spaces reflect the dynamic needs occurring within education (Pearlman 2010). There is an increasing call for schools to transition from places filled with teacher-directed, whole-group instruction, to spaces reflecting learner-centered, collaborative, and project-based learning, aided by available technological tools. Schools of the future must incorporate a vari- ety of learning zones, allowing for collaboration among peers and interactive projects that incor- porate an integrated curricular focus (AAF and KnowledgeWorks Foundation 2005). Children of today are not the same as children of yesterday: their learning tools, modes of thinking, and skill needs are continuously changing. Their class- rooms and learning spaces must likewise mirror the twenty-first-century revolution. One important trend in school design centers on the inclusion of multiple voices during the investigatory and planning stages. Collaborative school design can lead to long-term, successful, and sustainable spaces for children (Woolner et al. 2012). In an Improving Schools journal article titled “Changed Learning through Changed Space: When Can a Participatory Approach to the Learning Environment Challenge Preconceptions and Alter Practice?”, the authors posit that involving all stakeholders—children, parents, teachers, school administrators, and community members—is a necessary part of any design process. Architects and builders are often unfamiliar with the needs of a particular school. Consulting with school administrators is typically part of the planning process; however, this leads to a narrowing of appreciation and understanding of all that can be accomplished by including additional perspectives and points of view. The consultation of those directly involved in the daily running of the school can lead to greater levels of long-term satisfaction, as well as the improved use of the space. Participatory design, especially among educators and other staff members, increases buy-in and apprecia- tion of the new surroundings, leading to greater use of the space. As is often the case, the greater one’s level of involvement is from the beginning, the more intense one’s interest, desire, and use will be at the end. Researchers within the fields of early child- hood education and the sociology of childhood have shown an increasing level of interest regard- ing the importance of allowing the voices of young children to be heard within the planning process. Alison Clark and Peter Moss developed COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL | 19 |