My Inquiry-Based Journey with ECE Students

I am excited about the possibility to engage my students in a space of dialogue so as to together untangle the very nature of emergent curriculum/inquiry-based learning. However, sometimes I feel overwhelmed with the amount of work that lies ahead for me but also driven by the many inspirational teachers already working, grounded in inquiry with our children today.

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My work teaching in the Early Childhood Education Program has invited me to reflect on classroom learning spaces, in particular ECE teacher classrooms. This has sparked my curiosity for how best to create a space for adults that we so carefully and intentionally provide for our children. Inspired by the Reggio-Emilia Approach I’ve begun to question: “What languages does my classroom speak?”, “How do I create a climate whereby students take the time to thoroughly investigate and interrogate through dedicated inquiry ?”, “In what ways do students gain an appreciation for the process of learning today?”

I begin this journey by reflecting on what inquiry-based learning [IBL] means to me. First is must become a a way of life in the classroom. Let’s get to defining it as an approach to teaching and learning that places students’ questions, ideas and observations at the centre of the learning experience. For I believe educators play an active role throughout the process by establishing a culture where ideas are respectfully challenged, tested, and viewed as improvable, moving children from wondering to enacted understanding and further questioning. In the same way we support children’s expression and belonging through ‘wonder’. I wonder how teacher learning spaces can cultivate a sense of wonder in learning?

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THIS IS SADIE, BY SARA O’LEARY & JULIE MORSTAD

Sadie likes to make boats of boxes
and castles out of cushions.
But more than anything she likes stories,
because you can make them from nothing at all.

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In order to unpack inquiry in our classroom I partner myself alongside students to develop a deeper understanding of their pedagogy that is “their understanding of how learning takes place and the philosophy and practice that support that understanding of learning.”

Stay turned to my inquiry-based journey.

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