Comprehending Intentional Learning
19th June 2017
‘Intentional learning’ is used to illustrate education programmes where the learning focus is equally weighted to the roles of both child and educator. While learning is child-led in terms of the child being given the freedom to gravitate towards experiences and topics that spark their interest, it is the role of the adult (whether they are the educator or family member) to actively engage with the child, providing intentional and purposeful interactions.
In intentional teaching, adults scaffold upon a child’s learning and create clear learning objectives. They ask open ended questions and draw on what children already know and pull out ideas and observations from the child.
Intentional Learning Benefits
Through a child’s individual ways of learning, their way of constructing knowledge will reveal itself (auditory, visual, kinesthetic). Also, when they’re met with the consequences of their choices, they’ll learn to trust themselves, develop confidence and a strong self-image. By slowing down and setting clear learning objectives, educators can help to build thinking, problem solving and ideation in a child which supports them in their cognitive development and future learning.
Getting out into the great outdoors is a fantastic place to ignite children’s curiosity and wonder. Nature provides many opportunities for discovery and engagement in profound thinking in trying to make sense of the word around them. While exploring outside, all senses are engaged by walking and talking about what they’re seeing, smelling, touching and hearing. Encourage their interests by identifying birds and other creatures that cross their paths as well as the plethora of plant-life they pass by.
If you don’t set up opportunities for children to stretch their creative muscles, they’ll never push the boundaries of their imagination. Encouraging experimentation with all forms of creativity can provide an important outlet for all children. Educators set up creative activities with clear goals, carefully selected materials, and push children’s thinking with open-ended questions.
It’s a well-known fact that babies connect to the world through all their senses. What’s lesser known is that this experiential learning continues well into childhood. Providing experiences that engage the senses is a powerful way to build and enhance stronger memories.
The Guardian Curriculum
The Guardian Curriculum is a unique Curriculum inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach. At our centres, our educators are trained in our Curriculum which places strong emphasis on intentional learning.
Putting the child in the powerful position of taking on responsibility for their learning, it values them as a strong, capable and resilient individual. Following their curiosity and potential, children can construct their own understanding of the world with the support of adults. Different ways of creatively expressing thinking, ideas, as well as discovering and learning – known as the one hundred languages of children – are innate in every child.
Intentional Learning at Home
To take intentional learning home, it’s important to remember that adults aren’t the givers of knowledge, but rather, active participants in their children’s natural interests, looking to provide them with opportunities to explore and grow these curiosities. Try chatting to your children about what interests them; slow down in your experiences, ask them open-ended questions and get them to put forward their opinions. Excursions are great sources of connection; libraries, museums, parks and art galleries can engage and excite.
To learn more about our Curriculum, head here.
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