Infants and the Foundations for Learning

infants feet painting

Inquiry Question: How will it be evident in our practice that we view infants as competent learners? What will it: look like? sound like? feel like? In what ways can we use the foundations for learning to guide our understanding?

Examples of “Educator Actions” that represent the belief that infants are competent learners:

Engagement: Creating Contexts for Learning through Exploration, Play, and Inquiry

  • Providing safe spaces and opportunities for children to explore large muscle movement (using slopes, low steps, play pits, or platforms to create multiple level environment)
  • Designing environments so that children can access materials independently (infants take cues from the way each area is organized, as well as its mood, to stimulate their interaction)
  • Supplying materials that allow for the exploration of temperature, texture, size and shape as well as materials that can be taken apart, opened and closed, filled and dumped

Expression: Fostering Communication and Expression in All Forms

  • Honouring children’s preferences; for example, putting them down if they do not wish to be carried or allowing them to choose whether or not they would like to paint at the same time as the other children (offering a space for relaxation)
  • Allowing infants/toddlers to make choices about which books they would like to look at or have read to them
  • Permitting children to decide when an activity is complete

Well-Being: Nurturing Healthy Development and Well-Being

Physical Well-being and Self Care

  • Giving children real tools such as spoons to feed themselves, even if it is messy
  • Allowing children to clean up minor messes they may have created
  • Giving full attention to infants during routine activities such as diaper changing to convey that they are valued and cherished
  • Encouraging mobile children to walk to the changing area instead of carrying them
  • Encouraging toddlers to pull up their own pants after diaper changing
  • Allowing toddlers to put on their own shoes

photography of faces

“By involving ourselves in a constant inquiry into what we believe … we will be on a journey of getting to be better and better as teachers all the time.” ~Callaghan, 2011

Objectives: To bring the Province of Ontario’s vision of Pedagogy to life with our infants.

  1. Evaluate their personal beliefs regarding how children learn (pedagogy).
  2. Have a better understanding of “How Does Learning Happen?”
  3. Plan curriculum that is purposeful and meaningful
  4. Build a vision of children as competent, curious, and capable of complex thinking and rich in potential.

Callaghan, 2011, Early Learning Framework website, Principle 6: What the experts say.

I would love to read and hear about the ways your using the foundations to inform your practice with infants?
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