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Preschool Class
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Explorative connection with the preschool curriculum helps to promote an active and meaningful learning experience for young children. By allowing children to explore and discover their environment, educators can facilitate the development of key skills, such as problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, and curiosity. This approach is aligned with current theories and research on early childhood education, which emphasize the importance of hands-on, experiential learning.

 

According to Bandura's social cognitive theory, children learn through observation and imitation of their surroundings (Bandura, 1977). Explorative connection supports this theory by providing young learners with opportunities to observe, interact with, and imitate their environment. This encourages children to develop cognitive and social skills, as well as foster a sense of autonomy and self-confidence.

 

Additionally, the early childhood education curriculum aims to provide a strong foundation for future learning and development. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), play-based and exploratory approaches are essential in early childhood education as they support children's overall development, including language, literacy, math, and social-emotional skills (NAEYC, 2019).

 

As educators and parents of young children, we can promote active learning, foster key skills, and provide a solid foundation for children's future development and success.

Every learner is different, and may also interact with the curriculum at different levels. So when we build an explorative connection with the curriculum, it allows students to identify and pin themselves to the part of the curriculum that they can relate to, this way no learner is left behind. Interestingly, this is where the magic happens, because everyone discovers their strengths and arears where they need to develop, including the teacher who is also involved in the explorative process. Skills like empathy, deep connection, and creativity are also fostered in the explorative process because of the interdependency that occurs when everyone finds and contributes their area of uniqueness and expertise.

Every child is unique, so it's important
to create a
supportive environment where they can freely explore, discover,
and learn (Gustafson & Kochenderfer-Ladd, 2016).

Image by Catherine Hammond

Design a sensory exploration station

Create hands-on sensory activities that engage children's senses, such as a water table filled with various objects for them to explore. This allows children to discover different textures, weights, and densities, promoting their cognitive and motor skill development (Durkin, Mulcahy, & Clarke, 2020).

Encourage open-ended questioning

Ask open-ended questions during group discussions or while observing children exploring the environment. For example, ask "What do you notice about this plant?" or "Why do you think the block tower fell over?" This promotes critical thinking and allows children to express their thoughts and ideas (Wein & Day-Hess, 2018).

Create a nature corner

Set up a designated space in the classroom where children can explore natural elements such as shells, rocks, leaves, and pinecones. Incorporate books and magnifying glasses for them to examine the objects closely and learn about the natural world (Cooper & Cassidy, 2016).

Foster pretend play opportunities

Provide access to a variety of dress-up clothes, props, and role-playing materials to encourage children to engage in imaginative play. By creating different scenarios and roles, children can explore and learn about the world around them while developing their social and emotional skills (Fisher & Hirsh-Pasek, 2013).

Arrange regular field trips or guest visits

Organize trips to local parks, museums, farms, or invite guest speakers such as scientists or artists to the classroom. These experiences allow children to explore different environments and interact with professionals in various fields, expanding their knowledge and curiosity (Goswami & Georgieva, 2020).

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