Creating Contexts for Learning - Exploration, Play & Inquiry
How Does Learning Happen? Ontario's Pedagogy for the Early Years
Engagement suggests a state of being involved and focused. When children are able to explore the world around them with their natural curiosity and exuberance, they are fully engaged. Through this type of play and inquiry, they develop skills such as problem solving, creative thinking, and innovating, which are essential for learning and success in school and beyond. (How Does Learning Happen? pg. 7)
The Power of Classroom Play
"Conversations with Dr. Kimberly Bezaire" on the professional learning website www.etfopley.ca is a great resource to expand your thinking about play. The accompanying print resource "Learning in the Early Years: Exploring Our Thinking" written by Dr. Bezaire that was distributed to all K Teachers and ECEs last fall. Watch the following video clip of Dr. Bezaire to learn more about play and inquiry.
The Role of the Educator
The Environment as Educator
Watch the video below to learn more from Karyn Callaghan about "a new perspective" on the learning environments. Her whole series of videos about the learning environment can be found on the Ministry site "Think, Feel, Act" http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/childcare/environment.html . There is also a link below to the Ministry Research Brief "The Environment is a Teacher."
Provocations and Invitations
The Theory of Loose Parts
For more information, visit
After Hours Session
Questions for Reflection (from How Does Learning Happen, pp. 39-40)
How does the flow of the day allow children to make choices (e.g., to engage in in-depth exploration over several days; to relax and do nothing; to reflect on their experiences)?
What questions and theories do the children seem to be exploring through their play? What are they wondering about in the ways they use materials (e.g., what does their non-verbal communication tell you)? How can you make these visible? What next steps might you take, based on these observations, to support more complex play and inquiry?