Institute Blog
Providing a “provocative” environment

Providing a “provocative” environment

Should a classroom for young children be provocative? Maybe not in the sense of being risqué or unsettling, but educators in the schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy do hold a notion that the classroom environment itself can offer inspirations and challenges to the children. Every day at Hilltop Children’s Center we prepare our classrooms and studios with “provocations” and “invitations to learning.” These are intentional arrangements and presentations of materials that invite children to investigate and discover.

toddler classroom 4

Our friend and colleague Deb Curtis has modeled inventive ways to gather and display open-ended materials that might “provoke” children to play, interact, and create. Some of these ideas are gathered in the beautiful new edition of Designs for Living and Learning by Margie Carter and Deb Curtis. And you can read some of Deb’s thoughts about designing Creating Invitations for Learning in her article in Exchange Magazine.

Deb CurtisWe are thrilled that Deb Curtis will be returning to Hilltop’s Evening Discussion Series on Tuesday, March 8th, to discuss designing environments specifically for infants and toddlers. Please register here to join the discussion, in person or online.



classroom 1

classroom 2

classroom 3

classroom 4

2 thoughts on “Providing a “provocative” environment

    • Author gravatar

      I would love to video see of children and caregivers interacting and exploring together in this environment.

    • Author gravatar

      These places are beautiful, but I would like to see them with children at play. To me it is a display of an environment, and not an interactive play space. I work with children and have for some time, and I know that some children would son have this all rearranged. So maybe post some videos of children creating in this environment.

Comments are closed.