Fostering the Inquiristic Culture

Early childhood programmes should serve as incubators of inquiry. To develop this, we need professional development rooted in inquiry, aimed at fostering the values and growing the dispositions and skills of researchers.

  • Curiosity
  • Willingness to linger with questions
  • Commitment to constructing knowledge with others through dialogue
  • Disagreement and challenge
  • Attentive observation

When we put inquiry at the heart of our programmes, we organize our curriculum for children (and teachers) around observation, study, and responsive planning.

In this inquiry-based curriculum, teachers would pay close attention to children’s play, taking notes and photographic evidence, capturing what they see and hear, collecting and consolidating their research. Teachers then study their notes and photos and other traces of children’s work to unearth the meaning in thei children’s play. In other words, they are researchers making meaning of their observations.

Through these observations and study, teachers plan ways for the children to test their theories, expand their questions, and strengthen their relationships. In other words, researchers now taking action.

Teachers now continue to observe and listen more, as children engage with the experiences offered by teachers as a result of their planning. Teachers make notes about their observations and start another round of study and planning. This process becomes a spiral that carries teachers, children, and families more and more deeply into investigations, collaboration, and relationship.

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