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Wonder Newletter March/April 2010

by Claire Warden, Toni Christie, Bishnu Bhatta, Gillian McAuliffe
March/April 2010
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Article Link: http://www.exchangepress.com/article/wonder-newletter-march-april-2010/5019203/

Children as Designers of Their Own Space by Claire Warden

As adults, our heads are full of possibilities for design. We have had anything from 0 to 99 years of visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic-based experiences to fill the area of the brain, that I nominally refer to as ‘the filing cabinet.’ This huge database affects all our decisions, many of them completely intuitive and many not even in the realm of consciousness. So, as guardians of the outdoor spaces in which children learn, we define and design a space that we feel is wonderful, that we feel is all the things it can be. But let us consider for a moment who has made the decision, who has created the definition of an effective outdoor space for children. We have. Yet we are not the end users, the children are:

• They have a voice that should be heard across every aspect of their lives.
• It is their empowerment and the value we give their ideas that will intrinsically sit within their brains to ultimately affect their sense of well-being.
• They have a greater feeling of worth if adults hear what they are saying.
• The connection between children ...

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