Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


Child Development Centers, Design Requirements, Early Childhood Education, Educational Environment, Educational Facilities Design, Interior Design, Organizational Climate, Physical Environment


This practicum aimed to promote active learning for preschool children by redesigning a recreation center’s indoor preschool environment to include interest areas and utilize the entire indoor space of the facility. Corollary goals were to improve the behavior and engagement of the children within the environment, to increase parental approval of the redesigned environment, and to increase preschool enrollment. Two classroom module units, measuring 25 ft by 20 ft each, comprised the former preschool environment. The units were placed next to each other in a room that measured 95 ft by 80 ft. The remainder of the room was not used. The redesigned environment utilized the entire 95 ft by 80 ft of space. Nine main interest areas were set up along the peripheral walls, and a large, open area was created in the center of the room. Six formal observations were made before, during, and after implementation on a randomly chosen group of five children. Their behaviors were recorded on an observation checklist designed by the writer. Parent questionnaires, designed by the recreation department, were issued before and after implementation to the parents of the preschoolers. Parental approval of the redesigned preschool environment and its impact on their children was compared with parental approval of the former preschool environment and its impact on their children. Data of the writer’s interviews with the Superintendent of Recreation, the administrative staff, and the teaching staff was collected. The outcomes of this practicum were very positive. All objectives were reached. Data from this practicum showed improvement in (a) the preschooler’s engagement in active learning; (b) the preschooler’s behavior; (c) parental approval of the preschool environment; and (d) preschool enrollment requests as a result of redesigning the preschool environment to include interest areas and promote active learning.

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