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Studies on learning, cognitive development and teaching have highlighted the importance of learning based on the relationship among individuals and the learning environment (context). Knowledge emerges as a result of activities engaged and shared in an environment that connects individuals, materials, cultural tools, and symbol systems. (Strozzi, 2001; National Research Council, 2000)
Knowledge and understanding are constructed through social interactions. Classrooms are inherently social places wherein teachers and children negotiate the curriculum together. The aim is to construct a teaching and learning environment in which children and teachers are given opportunities to make decisions, pursue authentic questions and concerns, connect what is known to the unknown, and be successful as they explore, test ideas, and discover through play, informal learning activities, and projects. Guided participation in the activities of children is the primary role of the teacher, and play and the expression of ideas through interactions with adults, peers, and the environment are the primary business of children (Hill, Fu, & Stremmel, in press; Fu, Stremmel, & Hill, 2002).