Essay about The Inquiry Based Approach For Young Children

Essay about The Inquiry Based Approach For Young Children

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Any person who has encountered a young child in their life knows that children are full of questions. One indiscriminate question asked in every language, culture and community is: “Why?” From birth, children intrinsically begin investigating and exploring their world to reach a better understanding of it. They constantly develop ideas which are inevitably challenged by new experiences, thereby evolving into new ideas. As Piaget explains, a child’s existing schema is challenged with new information, pushing them into a state of disequilibrium; the child must then assimilate or accommodate the new information and adjust their schema (Woolfolk, & Margetts, 2013). The inquiry process draws on the natural curiosity of children. The following essay will firstly discus the features and elements of the inquiry based approach, then show how an inquiry based approach can be used to help young children to explore their families through the History curriculum in the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) (Department of Educations, Employment and Workplace Relations [DEEWR], 2009), NSW Syllabus (Board of Studies Teaching and Educational Standards NSW [BOSTES], 2014a) and Australian Curriculum (AC) (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2014).
The premise of the inquiry process is that children and educators are co-constructors of knowledge (Reynolds, 2012). As opposed to 19th century teaching practices, where the teacher was seen as the source of all knowledge and had the responsibility of passing that knowledge on to children, teachers using the inquiry approach have the role of facilitating an environment where children can construct their own learning (Reynolds, 2012). In the inquiry based approach, th...


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When using the inquiry process children and educators co-construct knowledge. There are many different models, but they all follow a similar pattern of defining the inquiry or problem, asking questions, gathering information and analysing the information, then reflecting on the information to make conclusion or take action. The EYLF, the AC and the NSW Syllabus all use the inquiry process in the History branch to explore the important and relevant topic of family in the early years. There are a few limitations to the inquiry process, but they can be easily overcome by the thinking educator. Clearly, the inquiry process is an exemplary way for student to delve more deeply into their family history and that of others around them to discover more about the places they belong to and perhaps how they can influence what these places will become in the future.

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