Ideally, the adult contributes by;
- Providing toys and materials for play
- Providing time for exploration and discovery
- Interacting with children in ways that enhance their learning and result in longer, more complex episodes of play
- Providing new experiences for children to enrich and extend thinking
- Posing challenging questions
- Helping children learn from each other through guiding and role modeling
- Educators work together with the children, the family and the wider community to create the learning curriculum.
- A good educator is always paying close attention to the child’s thinking as a starting point for learning. Learning investigations are based on the children’s questions, theories and interests as curiosity is a great motivator for learning. We as adults know that it is far easier to learn when we are actually interested in the topic.
Educators undertake a complex planning process based on constant observation of children interacting in the classroom, designing learning discoveries for the children, their own professional reflections of the learning observed so far, and collaboration with the children and their families.
- Educators introduce a wide variety of expressive media and resources that can be used to provoke and support learning and to represent ideas and thoughts.
- Educators encourage children to make their thinking visible – through talking, playing, drawing, painting, dancing, music, using 3D materials and many more expressive means. It is through these opportunities to represent learning that the child's level of understanding is consolidated.
- Educators model a sense of inquiry and curiosity and encourage the use of imagination.
- They endeavour to activate the meaning making competencies of each child as a basis of all learning by ask interesting, open ended questions that encourage children to express their thoughts and theories and be creative.
- Educators facilitate a variety of group learning experiences – small group times, larger group times, and independent learning time. Collaborative group work is considered necessary to advance cognitive development. Children are encouraged to dialogue, critique, compare, negotiate, hypothesize, and problem solve through group work.
- Educators support children to explore and research ideas in more depth - taking what is seen and heard, and bringing to children the opportunity to discover more, dig deeper, and construct further knowledge.
- The process of ‘hypothesise – trial – prove’, helps the child to develop deeper understandings of their world.
- We share documentation with the children so they have the opportunity to revisit their learning. This will often spark further investigation from a new perspective, or invites different children into an extension of the earlier play.
- We share documentation with families. Relationships between families and children and educators are strengthened when they share understanding. This also creates opportunities for families to contribute to the program in meaningful ways.
- We use documentation as a tool for social change. The stories we share about the learning in the environment educate the wider community about the process and value of learning in early childhood.
- We use written documentation to record shared history. It tells the story of our shared experiences and builds a greater sense of community.
So, is your child's teacher a pirate?