It was great this week to find a long-awaited package on my doorstep. Dr. Linda Zane has been an important member of the Pittsburgh area’s long and strong tradition and influence on high quality early childhood education. Now Linda has produced a wonderful book illustrating the importance and power of intentionally designed, beautiful and creative physical spaces in early childhood settings.
Pedagogy and Space: Design Inspirations for Early Childhood Classrooms, just released by Redleaf Press, is Linda’s contribution to the literature supporting educators and programs dedicated to providing truly inspirational spaces for young children. Full of practical ideas, design patterns and beautiful photographs of real classrooms, common areas and outside play spaces, this book is a wonderful read and necessary resource.
This book features photographs from some of the best local programs, including Carriage House Children’s Center in Shadyside; the Cyert Center for Early Education at Carnegie Mellon University; Riverview Children’s Center in Verona; and Stepping Stones Children’s Center in Gibsonia, among others. At a time when underlying influences – economic, political, internal – often undermine our focus on children as individuals and our necessary dedication to programs that support individual development above all, these programs are rightly showcased here. Many thanks to Linda and all who have made our local early childhood community a leader for over half a century.
“This textbook provides us, as advocates, the research we need to ensure that early childhood policies reflect a commitment to teacher professional development and to providing children with the opportunity to learn in environments that truly reflect the importance of the first five years of life.”
Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC)