The following is a guest post written by Christie Burnett of Childhood 101.
As an educator passionate about interest-led learning, I know that planning for and recording a child’s learning journey is about so much more than which subjects or developmental areas have been covered. Typically the exploration of a child’s area of interest will encompass multiple subject areas, some of which I am unable to even predict when I first notice the onset of a new fascination.
As a result I have always found it more helpful to brainstorm about the interest in a way which helps to set a context for the learning. This prompts me to consider the potential of the environment, literature, resources, creative expression, and even the community as learning resources.
These are the prompts I use when brainstorming the learning potential of a child’s interest.
- What is the child’s interest? Where did it stem from?
- What is driving the interest?
- What does the child already know?
- What questions does the child have?
- What theories have they been testing/discussing?
- What questions may stimulate further discussion and identify further theories to test?
- How can the learning environment extend the interest’s potential? Consider the following:
- Set up of physical space
- Resources to gather
- Creative responses: Graphic and dramatic arts
- Other experiences
- What community resources and experiences are available to support the child’s interest?
The answers to these questions do not form a definitive program of learning activities, nor should they in an interest-led curriculum.
Instead they equip the parent-teacher with a series of prompts and potential experiences, a veritable toolkit of ideas, which allows them to act as a responsive facilitator to the learning already taking place.
How do you support your child’s interest-led learning initiatives?