Reflective questions on working theories: Promoting curiosity and inquiry

Within the strand of exploration in Te Whāriki, the examples of practices for infants, toddlers and young children (pp. 48-49) and considerations for leadership (p. 50) prompt kaiako to think about the environments and engagements that encourage curiosity, exploration and working theories to flourish.

In this post I highlight some of the suggested reflective questions on p. 50 to focus attention on ways working theories can be identifiably present in curricular environment set-ups, planning, learning and responsive engagements:

»How might kaiako make thoughtful decisions about which of children’s spontaneous play, interests and working theories might be used to create curriculum experiences?

»In what ways can real toolgardening class with siena's preschools (such as gardening tools, saws, microscopes) be used confidently for exploration that leads to meaningful learning and sense making?

»How might kaiako encourage children to see a range of strategies they might adopt for exploration, thinking, reasoning and problem solving?

»What domain knowledge would help kaiako to recognise, respond to and extend children’s generation and refinement of working theories?

»How might kaiako create and model a culture of inquiry amongst children?

»What opportunities exist for children to participate in longer-term projects that support the development of their working theories? children observe nature in ECE with teacher

I hope these questions are provoking critical thought by individual kaiako and reflective discussions in teaching teams as they get to know and use the revised Te Whāriki. I welcome any responses to these questions as comments on this blog post and look forward to hearing from you.

Photo credits: “gardening class with siena’s preschool” (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) by  davidsilver 

Children Observe Nature in Day Care Center. Retrieved from Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest.