Siti Hamidah

Little Atlas Preschool

Siti Hamidah
18 Jun

Appreciating Our Environment I

Stepping back and embracing the current potential of every child without adult interference is the core of Little Atlas Preschool’s pedagogy.

As teachers, we wonder how do we cultivate “appreciation” in our Little Innovators without embedding our personal values, beliefs and biases into our children?

In conjunction with our SSDB project, “Today’s Innovators, Tomorrow’s Future”, our teachers set up a wonderful play area for children to explore. Consisting of only recycled items and a existing resources, the teachers observed how the recycled materials can indeed become toys or play things.

Our Little Innovator observing how macaroni falls into a container. Look at how he tilts the container! Almost no mess! Wonder what is he thinking about? Is he simply enjoying the process of pouring? Does he enjoy the sound it makes?

It is incredible how these very young children do not need be taught how to play. “Play” is indeed an innate reaction to how children respond to the environment.

She scoops, pours and stirs. Is she making her own milk? Is she thinking about the last time she went to the beach to play with sand?

As adults, we realise that children do not need expensive fancy manufactured toys for meaningful learning to happen.

This Little Innovator stacked the bottle caps to create a structure.

Meaningful learning occurs when teachers are systemically clear about the potential values, dispositions and learning outcomes that a learning environment can instill in children.

Now that we know that children are creative, flexible and competent learners in their own right, how do we further facilitate their learning in order to cultivate appreciation?

Questions to ponder on:

  1. Will this environment nurture appreciation for what they have?

  2. What are the things children are grateful for?

  3. How can they show their appreciation?

As educators, we know that appreciation is more than clapping or singing “Home” at 8pm to show appreciation for healthcare workers. Appreciation is a value embedded deep into our moral development and culture. We hope that our Little Innovators will be able to show us what appreciation really is, how it is correlated with everything we do everyday.

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