ERG SES C 13, Childhood and Education
There has not been a long tradition of pre-school education in Turkey due to historical, economic and cultural background. Schooling rate used to be 10% around in 90s. After many attempts of Ministry of National Education (MONE) and non-governmental organizations schooling rate increased 28% for 3-5 years old children, 37% for 4-5 years old children and 43% for 5 years old children in 2014 (MONE, 2014). Ministry of National Education is the governing body of pre-school education in Turkey and pre-school education is offered in two types of public schools: Independent pre-schools and elementary schools. The former have their own separate building and garden, yet the latter is only a classroom in primary schools in which first to eight grades are trained. Pre-school classes located in primary schools and is formed by turning primary education classes into pre-school classes. Independent schools ensure better educational environment for young children as they are ruled by principles who have pre-school education background. They generally have 5 classes thus maintaining both curricular and care tasks are much easier compared to primary schools. Some of the primary schools have more than 2 thousand students hence pre-school classes are neglected in those schools. MONE has been trying to increase schooling rate of pre-school education for two decades it is also trying to increase number of independent schools. MONE have two independent pre-school education building projects and construct same project all over the country. This is the cheapest way to establish a school. Yet, independent schools have their own problems and the current study focused on problems originated from architectural structure.
It has been long known that the physical environment in education building plays a part in shaping children’s behavior. Children not only interact with people around them they also interact with the physical environment that surround them in their daily life (Maxwell, 2007). Even in Reggio Emilia approach the environment is seen as ‘the third educator’. In order to fulfill its educator role, the environment needs to be flexible, responsive to children and teachers’ needs, help to construct children’s knowledge. Environment is not a passive element rather it is an element that conditioned and are conditioned by the actions of children and adults who are active in it. Smart environment provides changes, offers choices, and promotes effective social interaction. In short, well designed environment contributes to a sense of well-being and safety for children. Malaguzzi further stated that environment is a kind of aquarium that reflects the ideas, values, attitudes and cultures of the people who lives in it (Edwards, Gandini, & Forman, 1998).
Pre-school education has both short and long term positive effects on children and society since early childhood development is viewed as a key to social development. The quality of the physical and social environment plays a pivotal role to contribute child development in this process (Şahin & Türkün-Dostoğlu, 2012). Physical condition could be improved by getting principle’s ideas since principles are responsible everything about schools. They have to carry out all paperwork, manage budget, deal with structural problems including heating, lighting, recondition, and cleaning. For this reason it is believed that principles would provide the most comprehensive information about physical environment in pre-schools, so that designers can try to reach best design solutions. This study seek to answer following questions.
1) What is the biggest architectural problem in independent schools?
2) How principles solve those problems?
3) What is the principles suggestions for improving structural quality of school building considering the culture, climate and SES of region they lived in?
Buysse, V., Goldman, B. D., & Skinner, M. L. (2002). Setting effects on friendship formation among young children with and without disabilities. Exceptional Children, 68(4), 503-517. Çevre ve Orman Bakanlığı Devlet Meteoroloji İşleri Genel Müdürlüğü (2015). Klimatoloji-II. Retrieved January, 10, 2015, from http://www.mgm.gov.tr/FILES/iklim/klimatoloji2.pdf Edwards, C., Gandini, L., Forman, G. (1998). The Hundred Languages of Children: The Reggio Emilia Approach (2nd edt.). Ablex Publishing: London Frankel, J., & Wallen, N. (2006). How to design and evaluate research in education. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Higher Education Ministry of National Education Statistics (2014). Retrieved January, 10, 2015, from http://sgb.meb.gov.tr/www/milli-egitim-istatistikleri-orgun-egitim-2013-2014/icerik/95 Şahin, B. E., & Türkün-Dostoğlu, N. (2012). The importance of preschoolers’ experiences in kindergarten design. METU Journal of the Faculty of Architecture, 29 (1), 302-320. Van Office of Governor (2015). Geography. Retrieved January, 10, 2015, from http://www.van.gov.tr/index.php?icerik=146&goster=146
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