With the increased emphasis on children’s achievement, there is also increased recognition about the need to design learning spaces that will result in greater learning. How this is conceived is embedded within the philosophical beliefs of the teacher and the school. This entry will look at historical and contemporary factors that affect philosophical beliefs, examine the foundation for establishing effective classroom environments, and consider learning centers as a way of designing classroom spaces for kindergarten through third-grade children.

Learning centers are self-contained areas with a variety of hands-on materials organized around a curriculum area or topic. For example, a math manipulative center in a kindergarten classroom might contain a variety of math games and activities aligned to state standards. These could include such things as different ...

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