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Enquiry Based Learning
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle” – Albert Einstein
What is Enquiry Based Learning?
Enquiry Based Learning (EBL) is a supportive environment designed to
promote collaborated and active engagement and to problem solve.
The child is placed very much as the centre of the learning process. It acknowledges the importance of the child’s voice and choice, and presents them with greater independence in their decisions, relating to his or her wanting to ‘learn to learn’.
Starting with a ‘scenario’, and with the guidance of a facilitator (educator), children will identify their own issues and questions. They will then examine the resources and identify what they feel they need to research within the enquiry, thereby acquiring the requisite knowledge. Knowledge gained in this manner is more readily retained because it has been acquired by experience (kinesthetic) in relation to a real problem.
How do we make sure the enquiry is both rich and empowering?
The physical environment
Curating the learning environment to stimulate curiosity, rearranging furniture to allow more flexible groupings and ideally, having lots of access to the outdoors can help set the scene for a more investigate style.
In the Early Years, enquiry educators are careful to provide time for sensory exploration and play-based contexts, to stimulate questions and provoke investigations. As children develop, educators can begin to initiate more sustained shared enquires around compelling questions such as; ‘How can we care for ourselves and other living things?’ ‘What makes things move?’ or ‘Why and how do people tell stories?’
A combination of share enquiry and more personalised investigations often make the ideal arrangement in the classroom. If the physical environment is right, educators will play a hugely important role in supporting children to identify their passions and quite simply ‘learn to learn’.
What are the benefits of Enquiry Based Learning?
* Fundamentally, children are more engaged with their world.
Learning through deep levels of sustained play and enthusiasm.
* Children can expand on what they have learned by following their own interests
* Self-directed play not only develops key skills, but also leads to original thoughts that can
then contribute to larger research projects.
* Learning is essentially child-centred, with an emphasis on individual and group collaboration
and use of loose parts, other resources and information.
* Educators become facilitators, providing encouragement and support to enable the children
to take responsibility for what and how they learn.
More information can be found on our enquiries in the Nursery's main entrance lobby and within the our enabling environments.