Maranatha Introduces Innovative Early Childhood Education Laboratory Classroom
Maranatha Baptist University is proud to unveil its latest educational initiative, the Early Childhood Education Laboratory Classroom, a pioneering project spearheaded by Mrs. Janelle Coleman, Associate Professor in the School of Education. This state-of-the-art simulation room is set to revolutionize the way students learn and prepare for careers in early childhood education.
The Early Childhood Education Laboratory Classroom is designed to simulate a preschool/ kindergarten classroom. This unique space provides an immersive experience for students, enabling them to assimilate the atmosphere and gain a genuine understanding of the classroom setting they will eventually teach in. “Through the experience of being here, they’ll understand what the early childhood classroom environment is supposed to be like,” says Mrs. Coleman.
This hybrid room serves as both a college student classroom and an early childhood classroom. It facilitates traditional learning at smart boards while seamlessly transforming into a preschool setting for interactive activities and demonstration lessons. All the necessary elements are present, allowing students to familiarize themselves with the tools they will use in their future teaching careers.
One exciting aspect of this initiative is the potential for collaboration with local preschool children. While initially focused on college-student use, there are plans to invite real classes of preschool children for interactions in the future. This outreach aligns with Maranatha Baptist University’s commitment to serving the community and fostering educational development.
Mrs. Coleman envisions a dynamic environment where students can borrow materials, like sorting toys or puzzles, to engage in one-on-one interactions with children for observational purposes.
The inspiration for this innovative space originated during collaborative faculty discussions on continuous improvement planning. “If you could do anything here on campus to make your program better, what would you do?” asked Mrs. DeLozier. This question gave birth to the concept of an immersive preschool classroom, an idea that has now transformed into a fully realized project.
Located in a modular classroom, the laboratory classroom room was a perfect fit due to its availability and the authentic representation it offers of a preschool classroom environment. Mrs. Coleman emphasizes that having a dedicated space will not only enhance the learning experience but also foster excitement among students attending classes in the room.
The benefits of the Early Childhood Education Laboratory Classroom are numerous. Students entering the room will experience the same sense of excitement they aim to create for their future kindergarteners. Research indicates that the classroom context profoundly influences student learning. Thus, the laboratory classroom has a dual purpose: to provide an engaging and instructive learning environment for students and to enhance their ability to craft effective learning spaces.
The incorporation of play elements within the laboratory classroom aligns with Maranatha Baptist University’s holistic approach to early childhood education. The room is equipped with various centers, including circle time, math and science, reading, dramatic play, art, music, and movement. By immersing students in these settings, the university aims to develop educators who understand the significance of cognitive, emotional, social, physical, and spiritual growth in young learners.
The timely launch of the Early Childhood Education Laboratory Classroom promises to invigorate Maranatha Baptist University’s education programs. With its blend of theoretical instruction and practical experience, the room ensures that graduates are well-prepared to meet the demands of modern early childhood education. The generous support of Nancy Evans, an MBU education graduate and lifelong education advocate, was instrumental in making this initiative a reality.
As the university continues to uphold its commitment to excellence in education, the Early Childhood Education Laboratory Classroom stands as a testament to its innovative spirit and dedication to providing future educators with the best possible training and preparation.