How young children learn

 

  • Most people are familiar with Curriculum driven learning as it is what they experience
    • Familiar to most – school, TAFE, Uni, generally follow this style of training
    • Content is determined well in advance by the teacher or course designer
    • There are specific skills, knowledge and information to learn
    • Learning is based primarily on instruction by teacher
    • The learning targets specific skills e.g. work based training 
  • However there are other types of learning settings
    • Apprenticeship where learner picks up from what comes up
    • A person absorbs knowledge from their environment – e.g. ashram
    • Mentoring – senior imparts knowledge to junior by doing things together
    • Having a go yourself learning by doing
    • Working in groups (scaffolding)
  • Now for young children because of their stage of development that second group of approaches is more relevant
    • They are learning to value knowledge
    • Making connections to the world
    • Developing strategies and predicting what will happen
    • Seek, retain and recall information
    • Developing relationships with peers and adults
    • Learning to have empathy with others
    • Recognising consequences of what they do
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  • Hence in Early Childhood Education we are encouraging
    • Children learning to be and to belong and to become
    • Children mostly not learning specific information about things but learning about their world
    • Children to do what they enjoy as we learn better when we are interested
    • Learning attitudes, skill sets and dispositions
    • Learning to get on with others
    • Most importantly for a young child lessons are learned from any/everything we do
    • Hence we say “curriculum is life” the curriculum of early childhood education is all about the child’s life 
  • Therefore at Rainbow we utilise what is called Emergent Curriculum. This involves
    • Children doing what they enjoy
    • Children choosing the things they enjoy
    • Staff ensuring children have access to what they want to do
    • Staff supporting and assisting child with issues, problems and road blocks
    • Mixture of child centred and adult centred (e.g. adult reading a story) learning experiences
  • Hence at Rainbow you will see
    • Play based learning
    • Child Choice as much as we can
    • Outdoor focus given our large and varied outdoor area offering so many learning opportunities
    • Mixed ages – family grouped as younger and older children learn from and help each other
    • Small groups of no more than 10 children as young children learn best in such groups