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Encouraging Curiosity
July 9, 2020
I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.
-Albert Einstein
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“A proud smile stretches across Ava’s face as she pushes her chair across our classroom, creating a scraping noise while maneuvering around furniture and children. As the other toddlers take notice, they leave their toys, following behind with their own chairs and rounds of laughter. At the start of the school year my class of 15- to 19-month-olds took great pride in moving and pushing our child-sized chairs around the classroom. These standard plastic chairs with metal legs become so much more than a place to sit, taking on roles of trains, buses, tunnels and doll beds. In previous years, other toddlers in our program used them for pushing but not with as much determination as this current group. So, I asked myself, ‘What is it about these chairs that draws my toddlers to them? What is happening as they push?’

As teachers it is our role to facilitate children’s natural curiosities. Children are born learners; when they are passionate about, and in control of, the learning process, they feel value in making new discoveries…By making close observations for documentation and reflection we provide materials and rich experiences to feed children’s curiosities and make additional discoveries. At the start of each school year, teachers [in my program] are asked to select an area or topic of interest in their classroom to study. This simple act of pushing a chair would become the basis of my investigation for the year…”

So begins an article by Candace Kastrup that has been used as the basis for one of the newest Exchange Reflections, called “Encouraging Curiosity in Toddlers.”  Kastrup’s descriptions of her role as a “teacher co-researcher” working with toddlers, could actually apply to work with infants, preschoolers or even elementary-aged students. The discussion questions and action steps in the Exchange Reflections encourage deep contemplation of the ways effective educators scaffold children’s natural inclinations to grow as curious, life-long leaners.





NEW Resource!
Exchange Reflections

Exchange Reflections are designed to help a team of people meet in-person or live online to think deeply together about a topic using an article from Exchange magazine as a guide. Included are discussion questions to help guide reflections, as well as a "Making Commitments" idea sheet to help prompt ideas into action and an Exchange Reflections Certificate. For your convenience, Exchange Reflections are available in PDF format and you can download immediately on your desktop.

We are offering a “choose your price” option during this challenging time. The regular price of Exchange Reflections (which you can distribute to your staff or students) is $10. For those of you able to pay regular price, thank you. It helps us keep paying our staff. For those of you who need to use the 50% off coupon, we understand. Times are tough right now and some budgets are on the edge. Please do what works in your own circumstances.

Use coupon code REFLECTIONS at checkout
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Offer valid through August 8, 2020 at 11:59 pm Pacific Time.
May not be combined with any other offer.
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