Texts

Concept for A Councillor of Children needs

What for?

The modern environment is highly structured and shaped to meet the needs of today's average grown up.  Everything is planed after their standard, aesthetics and needs.  Even places like schools, childrenhospitals and playgrounds are often misused by their creator to present solely their often-untasteful artistic and aesthetic whims.  They present themselves rather than to meet up with the real children needs.  This is what we then call " to care about children and their needs".  Yet those needs are unfortunately not easily to be found out, looking from a grown up´s point of view.

Today you have the tendency of societies traditional nucleus family braking up, leaving a single parent society behind.  All of a sudden now, those people will find themselves forced to take their children with them to ´grown up places`.  Everday activities, leisuretime happenings, and sometimes even business journeys, all those ´child free` kept realms of Everyday life are now flooded with those "little people".  So today you will find now children around areas in which they where so far left out or played little to non - role.

In areas where children can not act out their true nature over a too long period of a time they soon will be annoyed, just as anybody else would be.  Through constantly overdemanding and surpressing children in their needs, they may often end up developing abnormal behaviour.  Yet wherever children needs are met, chances are good to find children become content, relaxed, happy and thus good companions to live with (even for complicated, selfindulged grown up´s)
 

What are suitable areas for children?

Places, spaces, and maybe sometimes even just a corner of a room in which yet children may meet their momentarily needs and are allowed to move, occupy and act freely on their self demand.
 

How are suitable areas for children?

They are shaped to meet children needs, proportions and aesthetics (see table 1).  They are areas, in which children are able to move freely only limited by necessary caution to prevent accidents (see table 2).  They are areas in which those specific physiological and psychological characteristics of children find acknowledgement by grown-ups (see table 3).  They are areas in which children may follow their free will to act as they feel like; all of this sums up a suitable place for children.  A child's life is base upon playing, thus the environment of a child will have to be a world of play.

Children find themselves handicapped in the adult world, thus must the planning of children spaces also pay tribute to this crucial point of view.  In fact are the process of planning and creating children spaces and the planning of suitable spaces for handicapped people, quite similar and sometimes hard to distinguish (see table 4).
 

Where are suitable spaces for children?

You not only have to plan playgrounds and Kindergarten to meet their needs.  Schoolyards (see table 5) and orphenhomes need also specialised attention.

Childrenhospitals should orientate themselves much more on leisuretime playhouses rather then putting their emphasis on the usual hospital layout.  Playing and child appropriate environment is the best medicine.

On journeys, in airports, planes, train stations, trains, buses, in cars, on a ship, in a hotel, in the restaurant, all those touristareas when appropriate planed, will cause children to become happy, fun having, companions, where they were former perceived as disturbing, stressing elements of environment.

In cities shopping areas, warehouses, shops, offices and administration offices, in all those places one should find children appropriate spaces.  Adults could follow their tasks and children could spend their time waiting with for them useful occupation.

Even sport events, leisuretime spending should offer child appropriate places.  The first aid pack could include also a first aid play section for distracting children's attention away from the accident.

Our whole grown up world should be looked at anew from the point of view of how child appropriate it really is (see table 6).
 

Why to make the counsellor a post grad study

Childrenpsychologists, devleopmentalpsychologists, Educationalist and Socialworker know what children want and need.  Unfortunately they have not learned to transfer this knowledge to create and plan a world that meets children needs.  They have also not the language of planing and creating to communicate with those people who deal with that matter.

Looking from the other side the person planing and creating spaces for children has not the language, terminology and understanding of Educationalist and psychologists to see children needs, thus will their work not be centred around those.  You have two worlds here that, even though they claim to use the same language, misunderstand each other often completely following the course of their different nature.

Now it would be very useful if both sides architects and other people who create and plan children spaces on the one side, psychologist, Educationalist and social workers on the other would learn about the language, terminology and the existing knowledge of one another.  The problem is here that you would have to have two different courses for two different already existing knowledge's for two different kind of careers.

Yet one finds today for example everywhere architects who build schools, Kindergarten and leisurecenters without having had special education which would allow them to do so.  Even landscape and gardenarchitects who plan playgrounds rarely touched the topic in their studies.  Sometimes they do not even know about the appropriate DIN safety norms of their projects.  It would be surely useful if architects would have to participate within their studies a course dealing with the „appropriateness for children“.  Nevertheless shan't this be the task of the children counsellor.
 

Preaquired knowledgement of Students

For didactical reasons would it be useful if the student had some former training in psychology, as Educationalist or social worker.  Furthermore could be some knowledge in administration, childcaring or conducting constructions useful.
 

Topics of study

The course should deal with all children relevant topics, some in depth; some only surface wise depending on aimed at field of work.

The whole course should be very practical oriented and deal with theoretical aspects timeclose.  Old theories should only be evaluated on their nowadays relevance.

All here made suggestions are of course open for discussion.
 

Design

- Introduction to drawing techniques as a matter of communication
- Introduction to methods of planning, their techniques and progress
- Introduction to rights of construction, norms and safety of planning
- How to read technical drawings and planning documents
- Constructionmanagement, organisation and conduction of projects
- Construction controlling and acknowledgement of finished projects
- Planning of suitable places for children
- Critical evaluation of already existing plans in terms of their
  suitableness for children
- How to collect material to give presentations
- Training of creative thinking and actions towards a problem
 

Children's behaviour

- Ethnology and Anthropology of children
- Developmentalpsychology
- Cognetivepsychology
- Varying interests of children throughout their development
- Childbehaviour in free areas
- Aggressiondevelopment and its reduction, vandalism
- Socialbehaviour
- Responsible safetybehaviour and dangerreduction
- Childrenegonomics and childrenproportions
- Childrenphysiology (dirt, cleanness, hunger, thirst, toilets, weather:
  wind, coldness, heat, allergies)
- Childrensexuallity, sexdifferences and similarities
- Children and traffic, orientation, distances, qualities of travel
- Condition of transport, ways of transport,
- Covering of other areas in which children play a role such as seniors,
  disabled people, minorities
- Suitable colours, forms and things for children
- Gardenplanning suitable for children needs
- Children's behaviour towards animals
- Children fantasy, creativity and logic
 

Market

- earning money through children, cloth, fashion in music, sport,
  food (Mc Donalds etc), toys, playground equipment
- products for children on the market, what products are not on and why
- function of playequipment, toys, play areas
- why, where and how playsituation are used
- marketing for children or against children
- searching and acquiring fond for projects
 

Techniques of negotiation

- rhetorical training
- training and organisation of a hearing, participation and incorporation of people
- learning to develop priorities, dealing with arising conflicts
- political work
- training of workingprocesse when „planing with children“
- Public Relation, advertisement of projects
- Documentation
 

Training of practical issues

- understanding of children through fieldwork
- practical work in leisuretime centres, hotels, schools, playgrounds, planning and building with children
- training with disabled persons
- training in departments of public recreation areas
- training with architects
 

Chances of future employment

The UN resolution „the child's right to play“ states the suitableness for children as a valid right to claim.  The overall lacking understanding by architects and even landscape architects who plan playgrounds, for these children needs gives the Children Counsellor a huge workingfield.
 

Impressum & Copyright