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ERIC Number: ED560974
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jul
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 43
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Inquiring Minds, Meaningful Responses: Children's Interests, Inquiries, and Working Theories
Hedges, Helen; Cooper, Maria
Teaching and Learning Research Initiative
This project/report partnered researchers with teachers from two centres to explore and theorise understandings of children's inquiries and working theories. This project investigated the following questions: (1) What is the nature and content of infants', toddlers' and young children's inquiries and working theories in relation to their everyday lives in their families, communities and cultures?; and (2) How might teachers notice, recognise, respond to, record and revisit infants', toddlers' and young children's interests, inquiries and working theories in early childhood education? The project explored the nature of children's interests and inquiries; the kinds of inquiries and working theories that children explore and how these progress over time; teachers' knowledge and understandings in relation to children's interests, inquiries and working theories and associated curricular decisions and practices, and theoretical understandings of children's inquiries and working theories. There was a particular focus on the links between children's interests and working theories and activities and events in children's families, communities and cultures. The project's objectives have included: (1) exploring teachers' understandings of children's interests, inquiries and working theories; (2) exploring the nature, types and progression of children's inquiries and working theories in specific contexts, including their relationship with activities and events in children's families and cultures; and (3) developing approaches for recording (documenting) inquiries and working theories and justifying which have been revisited. Little research has been available to guide teachers to adopt analytical practices with regard to interpretation of children's interests, particularly in multi-cultural settings that represent the diversity of New Zealand's population. Further, the counterpart outcome to dispositions in "Te Whariki" of working theories has remained somewhat elusive. This is likely to be because little research and few programmes of professional learning have occurred to explore and develop shared understandings of the concept and its importance in children's thinking and knowledge development. It therefore remains unclear what teachers' understandings of the construct of working theories are and ways they then recognise, document and utilise these as an element of children's interests and inquiries in curriculum decision making. [This report was written in partnership with Daniel Lovatt, Trish Murphy, and Niky Spanhake (Small Kauri Early Childhood Education Centre) and Bianca Harper and Lindy Ashurst (Myers Park KiNZ Early Learning Centre).]
Teaching and Learning Research Initiative. Available from: New Zealand Council for Educational Research. P.O. Box 3237, Wellington 6140 New Zealand. Tel: +64-4384-7939; Fax: +64-4384-7933; e-mail: tlri@nzcer.org.nz; Web site: http://www.tlri.org.nz
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (New Zealand)
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand