The educators of Reggio Emilia call the environment the “third teacher” because it “speaks to children about what they can do, how and where they can do it and how they can work together” (Paiman & Terrani, 1998, p.1). They see space as an “aquarium that mirrors the ideas, values, attitudes and cultures of the people who live in it” (Gandini, 1994, p.149). Curtis and Carter speak of the environment as providing the “bones of the curriculum” (2008, p.54). Bones because its function is to hold up or support the learning process. What is your third teacher saying? How are your bones functioning? This article seeks to suggest implications for practice arising from the beliefs, theories, position and vision statements of 21st century Australian early childhood and to support these implications with practical suggestions.

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