Toddlers flourish in secure learning environments: Study

September 22nd, 2008 - 10:36 am ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Sep 22 (IANS) Infants develop a spirit of inquiry and flourish in secure yet flexible learning environments, fostered by teachers, according to new research findings. A team led by Massey University Child Care Centre director Faith Martin and colleague Raewyne Bary, and guided by Barbara Jordan and Cushla Scrivens, carried out a study on ties between teachers, children and families.

It questioned the ways in which educational leadership impacted infants’ and toddlers’ levels of inquiry - their propensity to try new things and ask questions.

The research investigated a teaching structure, which freed of formal systems, allowed teachers to shape a learning environment according to the needs of the children, reports Sciencealert.

“Children feel secure in a learning environment that is shaped around their needs,” Martin said. “Consistent, long-term relationships between teachers and children also supported children’s individual learning and resilience.”

“Children are researchers,” she said. “They flourish when they are allowed to develop their own working theories and step outside the status quo,” said Bary.

Conversely, when infants and toddlers were not feeling secure (for health reasons, family circumstances or relationships) their level of inquiry was also found to diminish.

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