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How Can We Find Out Together?

by Lorenza DiNatale, Tammy Steele, and Crystal Elliott
January/February 2009
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/how-can-we-find-out-together/5018578/

The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.
Mark Van Doren

In order for teachers to create child-centered and emergent curriculum for their classrooms it is important for them to observe children to discover their interests and then develop investigations around these interests by using the enthusiasm, knowledge, and curiosity of the other children in the classroom. This is just the first step in a four-step process. It is equally as important to allow children ample time to formulate questions, ­investigate, reflect on, and celebrate their learning.

Step 1
Formulating questions that lead to investigation: Intentional planning

Preschool children are naturally curious and want to find out about the world around them. Just as ­scientists hypothesize and then test their theories in laboratory experiments, children need a chance to ask and answer questions through hands-on investigations with other adults and children (Chaille & Britain, 1997; Gallas, 1995). The Creative Curriculum™ calls these methods of learning, process skills (Dodge et al., 2002). This is in line with the ­Reggio Emilia approach in which the image of the child is a curious, competent, active constructor of knowledge (Edwards et al., 1993). In order for this type of learning to happen, teachers need to encourage and ...

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