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Developmentally appropriate practice acknowledges and respects the unique learning styles, approaches, and individual needs of students, and is the key to establishing an effective and sucessful learning environment. Early childhood classrooms that utilize this approach, in combination with hands-on exploration and thematic, center-based instruction, maximize the support of students' overall physical, emotional, cognitive, and social development. It is this type of environment, the least restrictive environment, where young children blossom like flowers.