Designing Spaces that Promote Competence
Competence is important to kids. That sense of “I can do it” fuels the child’s drive to explore and succeed as, says Jim Greenman in the Article, Design for competence: How Competent can I Be? Greenman also recommends that early care and education environments support competence through the following ways:
- appropriate expectations
- appropriate scale
- clear organization the child understands
- a variety of things to do and places to do them
In the article: Design for Competence: How Competent Can I Be? Greenman wrote: ” The best way to evaluate and then design the environment for competencies is simply to track a child as she goes about his or her way.”
A quick competence check list:
- Child size styrofoam or dixie cups along with a child size water pitcher is available for the children to get their own drink when they are thirsty
- Children are able to go to the restroom with very little assistance
- Children help to set the table, serve themselves and are involved in clean-up
- Children choose their own materials during a free choice time
- Children dress themselves, hang up their own coats and take care of their personal belongings
Creating an environment that promotes competence is a sure way to boost a child’s confidence level and create a sense of belonging in the classroom. Most of all… Create an “I can” environment!
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