How do we learn?
As we watch toddlers explore their natural environment and gather information about the world around them, it is amazing to see how quickly they learn from their own observations and experiences. Long before they arrive in the classroom, children have already acquired a vast amount of knowledge through play.
Children take great delight in discovering the natural world!
When they begin school, teachers build upon children’s curiosity and their interests to guide their inquiry and make learning come alive. They extend children’s natural investigations with rich language and discussion of scientific principles. Through this process, children construct knowledge that they share with one another.
“The constructivist teacher sets up problems and monitors student exploration, guides the direction of student inquiry, and promotes new patterns of thinking. Classes can take unexpected turns as students are given the autonomy to direct their own explorations.”
(Classroom Compass, “Constructing Knowledge in the Classroom”)
Children soon become independent observers who practice science inquiry in sophisticated ways – creating hypothesis, recording their data, and deriving conclusions based on their scientific investigations.