Discover as a Learning Environment: Stimulating Creativity and Learning in Diversity

In: Learning and Teaching in a Metropolis

The late twentieth century saw the development of a new type of centre for children and families - popularly referred to as ‘discovery centres’ - designed to stimulate creativity and learning through exploration, play, and interaction. This chapter surveys the design, development, ethos and practice of one such centre in London’s East End, Discover. The role of Discover as an advocate of children’s rights is highlighted through a discussion of how children were consulted during its development phase. Current ideas and research on children’s participation in decisions which affect them are briefly reviewed. This aspect of Discover’s work is further explored through a description of a project run by Discover in partnership with a local school and urban regeneration agencies to explore models of children’s participation. Some findings on children’s use of art forms to communicate their ideas about their environment, and the responses of adult regeneration professionals are discussed.

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