A child development center for the disadvantaged



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Texas Tech University


Designing a physical environment that stimulates cognitive growth in disadvantaged children from lower-income backgrounds enriches their educational, cultural and social experiences. There have been studies showing that children from lower-class backgrounds, when compared to children from middle-class backgrounds tend to score lower when given IQ tests. These studies revealed that children from lower-class backgrounds suffer from a severe discrepancy between ability and achievement from the primary result of environmental, cultural and economic disadvantages. In order to rectify this discrepancy, we must understand that a child's cognitive development progresses in three different stages which are the following: l)sensori-motor intelligence, 2)concrete operations and 3) formal operations. By studying these stages, one can have an understanding of how a child's behavior is different in each stage. Therefore, one can create physical settings for a particular stage that would create activities to help promote a child's cognitive growth. For example, these activities may include problem solving techniques and activities to develop motor skills, etc.

The facility will be located in the south sector of El Paso, Texas, near the downtown area. The site is located in a neighborhood which is predominantly lower-income class and from Hispanic background. Just south of the site is the border highway, which borders the city of Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. North of the site is downtown El Paso. This site is ideal for the facility which will serve the parents and the disadvantaged children of the community that is economically and environmentally oppressed.

The proposed Child Development Center for the Disadvantaged will be an asset to a child's development. The demand for centers like this has been increasing drastically due to the entry of mothers in the work force and the understanding that a child's earliest experiences are crucial for later ability to learn. The proposed center will offer a place where young children grow and learn. Also, this center will be flexible and scaled for children but will also be comfortable for the adults who work and visit there. The size of the proposed facility will be 14,960 square feet and will accommodate approximately 60 children.