ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION IN KINDERGARTEN
1 University of Natural Sciences and Humanities (POLAND)
2 University of Natural Sciences and Humanities in Siedlce (POLAND)
About this paper:
Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:One characteristic feature of a constructed environment is that, once built, it lasts for years and continues to influence our behaviors and moods. Decisions regarding space design and development should account for the fact that every newly erected building interferes with the natural environment, the good shape of which preconditions human existence. We all are in space, however, not all of us are equally aware of its meaning. Raising awareness of the value of external environment is the task of architectural education, which – when commonly understood – may result in an increase of quality of life in a harmonious environment.
The term architectural education may be broadly understood but its impact on human life is invaluable. One may not ignore a correct way of viewing the surrounding environment and the meaning of architecture in the widely understood child development. Architectural skills should be developed as they will contribute to one’s success in the years to come.
Still, for architectural education to be effective, it must be introduced as early as possible, i.e. already in preschool.
The Polish system of education has recognized the importance and meaning of the need of an informed and responsible manner of developing the environment by implementing architecture-related contents into the core curriculum.
The preschool core curriculum sets forth, amongst other things, that a child graduating from preschool can develop space and impart meaning on objects found within it, undertake independent cognitive activities, such as space development, implementing its own construction ideas.
However, the provision raises several doubts amongst teachers. Teachers believe that the issues of architectural education are excessive requirements regarding preschool children and that the already stretched programs of didactic activities will have no room whatsoever for architecture.
Nevertheless, drawing upon experience of organizations dealing with architectural education (also referred to as space development education), we can see that including smallest children in discussions regarding architecture proves not too difficult for them and may be an excellent opportunity to have some fun.
Children participating in space-related conversations can pay more attention to our surroundings: their house, preschool, city or town, public places, more personal places, places important for the children; their awareness of the beauty of places of historical interest and nature is raised; they develop their natural interest in the world; they create, construct, make up; they explore history in a nonstandard manner, they get to know the ways of constructing in the past, how inventions affected architecture, how the city’s landscape has changed; they develop their aesthetic and artistic senses.
Architecture-related activities are ideally linked to arts, they develop a sense of direction, social competence (team work), communicative competence (presenting one’s work, expressing opinions), manual abilities, creativity and logical thinking.
Having regard to the above presented need to realize architectural education already in kindergarten, a research on the basic knowledge and skills in the field of architecture of children aged five and six was conducted.
Keywords: Architectural education, kindergarten, children.