Child Care and Early Education Research Connections

Skip to main content

Prekindergarten teachers’ perspectives on classroom environments and barriers to optimal learning spaces


Physical classroom environments for young children and the quality of those environments have typically been studied by utilizing various rating scales. Research is limited on early childhood educators’ perspectives and decision-making processes in striving to create optimal physical classroom environments during the school year. This qualitative study used the theoretical lens of Bronfenbrenner’s microsystem to examine 22 prekindergarten lead teachers’ decision-making processes regarding initial set up of physical classroom environments, their ability to modify and update their classroom during the school year, and the barriers they face in providing optimal learning environments. Findings indicated that prekindergarten teachers dedicate most of their time, attention, and resources to physical classroom environments at the start of the school year. Great variations were found in the amount of autonomy the teachers had in set-up and materials selection. Updating and modifying those physical classroom environments also varied greatly depending on school setting and teacher experience. The main barriers revolved around budgets, physical space, and time. Implications for child care quality are discussed. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

- You May Also Like

These resources share similarities with the current selection.

CIRCLE Classroom Environment Checklist


Prekindergarten classroom language environments and children's vocabulary skills

Reports & Papers

Impact of space and color in the physical environment on preschool children's cooperative behavior

Reports & Papers
Release: 'v1.40.0' | Built: 2023-11-07 08:40:06 EST