For the first part of my research I explored child development and psychology. Early childhood experiences can have a lasting impact on their development; I discovered that significant stresses in the caregiving environment can have lifetime consequences. My research led me on to the pioneering work of Maria Montessori who’s methods include allowing children to make creative choices in their own learning; working in groups and individually to develop their maximum potential. I also looked into the work of Loris Malaguzzi, who developed the Reggio Emilia approach, a child-centred early educational philosophy that states; ‘children are powerful and capable individuals, with the ability and desire to construct their own knowledge.’I looked into Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory which explains how the fundamental qualities of children and their environments can interact and influence how they develop. While little can be done about the greater macrosystem, small changes giving a child a step up near the centre of the machine can make a huge difference to their overall lives. I used this system to base my emotive model on but equating it to different cogs and gears turning in a machine and in turn influencing each other. All of these different factors that can contribute to how a child thrives in the environment in which they are in.
For the rest of my research I investigated with my own family which local attractions are the best and why and made up an infographic with the results. I also conducted a survey online and in person to families across Dundee to determine what needs there were locally in the city. The main themes that had arisen during my research were social interaction, lack of affordable childcare, family health and the how families rated their immediate environments. I then combined this with my earlier site analysis and made up a spatial diagram zoning out what areas I could put in place to try to address some of these needs.