Children are constantly engaged in making meaning of their world and in sharing their perceptions. Play is an optimal context for enabling children to work out their ideas and theories and use what they already know to deepen their understanding and further their learning. Innately curious, children explore, manipulate, build, create, wonder, and ask questions naturally, moving through the world in what might be called an “inquiry stance”. Educators observe and document the children’s thinking, ideas, and learning; interpret and analyze what they have noticed; and express their own thinking and wondering as they interact with the children. Inside our Jasper classroom, the educators adopt an inquiry stance along with the children, and a culture of inquiry characterizes the learning environment.
Inquiry is an integral part of certain disciplines. For example, inquiry processes and skills are central to science and technology. However, encompassed in this program, inquiry is not a set of processes and skills but a pervasive approach or “stance”, a habit of mind that permeates all thinking and learning throughout the day. It is not limited to a subject area or topic, a project, or a particular time of day. It is not an occasional classroom event, and it is not an approach appropriate for only some children. Inquiry is “at the heart of learning in all subject areas”. Educators use their professional knowledge and skills to co-construct inquiry with the children – that is, to support children’s learning through play, using an inquiry approach. This is the ongoing process we use while planning our programming for the children every week.
Little reminder that next Friday we will be closed at 3:30pm for our 50th Gala Celebration.