Month: February 2020

The Road to Inquiry

As the weeks pass, the dust begins to settle from the busy-ness of the transition period. Children, families and educators are coming to know one another and find ways of embracing commonalities and differences. Houses are finding rhythm as we step forwards, backwards and sideways, dancing our way through the days. The first step in becoming a community of learners is to establish responsive, respectful and reciprocal relationships, as we discussed in the three previous blogs; Beginning with Relationships, Building Relationships  – What does it look like? and Building Relationships – Connecting with peers. As these relationships emerge, educators begin to look more closely at children’s interests, wonderings and curiosities. Beginning with what children are doing, educators document and record patterns of interests. Where do children play? What do they play with? How do they play with it? Who are they playing with? These initial recognitions form the basis for programs as they help educators decide what resources to put out, where to put them, and what to add to them. So, if a group of children are interested in painting, educators might continue to offer painting, but ensure there is a variety of paint types available over the course of the month, like acrylic, watercolour, poster or tempera. On the surface, this offering of resources constitutes a play-based, child-led program. But The Early Years Learning Framework invites educators to go further, encouraging educators to engage in “intentional teaching” and practices of assessment that help us to understand what isRead more

Building Relationships – Connecting with Peers

As children begin to feel comfortable in the space and in relationship with educators, they begin to recognise the possibility of connecting with their peers. Reaching out for friendship and connection looks very different for different combinations of children at different times and in different spaces – there are endless variables that children learn to recognise and navigate as they explore their social worlds. Learning to be friends is complex and fraught with emotional risk. Children, in seeking companionship, demonstrate incredible levels of resilience as they reach out, make mistakes, experience success, and try it all again tomorrow. If we undertook the same process that children undertake as adults I expect we would be in awe of children’s competence and bravery. Children might reach out for friendship by: passing a toy to a peer (or taking a toy from a peer!) playing the same game alongside a peer smiling and other reciprocal facial expressions spontaneously joining in play with a peer, such as throwing back a ball that passes them by and then continuing the game explicitly joining in play with a peer, such as inviting or agreeing to an invitation to play Connections to peers is essential to development of belonging, and results in a strong sense of community. The EYLF states; “Children’s connectedness and different ways of belonging with people, country and communities helps them to learn ways of being which reflect the values, traditions and practices of their families and communities. Over time this learning transforms the ways theyRead more