U for Unique Child – The ABC of Early Years Education
The way young children think, develop, and learn is fascinating. And while some of this is in-built, by paying close attention to a child’s interests and preferences, practitioners can help to shape this experience.
It’s through playing and exploring, active learning, and creating and thinking critically that children develop their understanding of the world and acquire new skills. And by taking a collaborative approach — in which children’s unique interests and areas of development are drawn upon by practitioners to build their understanding — the curriculum can be maximised to deliver the most beneficial experience for all.
“How children develop and learn is about the way in which they grow as thinkers and learners and involves them developing learning dispositions such as: curiosity, persistence, concentration, motivation, confidence and excitement. It is about becoming an independent thinker and learner who is able to make decisions and choices and interpret their ideas and solve problems.” (Creating and thinking critically… A practical guide to how babies and young children learn, p.4).
Of course, it goes without saying that all children are different. And by treasuring each child’s individuality — while creating a warm and secure space that nurtures curiosity and exploration — every early learner can be encouraged to reach their own personal potential, and hopefully foster a lifelong love of learning in the process.