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Child Initiated Learning


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Had a consultant in this week (Reception) who said that child initiated learning can only be classed as such when all practitioners are involved and no adult led focus group is taking place. For instance, if one adult is leading a focus group of 5 or 6 children and the rest of the class are selecting from Continuous Provision supported by another adult, then the children in CP, even though an adult is involved, are not engaged in child initiated learning but rather that this session should be classed as focus time. I'd be interested to hear other's views on this.

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Hi NettyNoodles I would agree with your consultant as this is and always has been my interpretation of child initiated.

 

If you have adults working with a focus group then they are not involved in playing with the children and scaffolding learning. Catma has posted a great chart on the forum showing how the day can be divided into three which is very useful.

http://www.foundation-stage.info/forums/in...c=22631&hl=

 

And there is a very useful article here you may find helpful http://www.teachingexpertise.com/articles/...d-learning-6861.

 

Lorna

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Obviously the children in the group task are not doing child initiated learning but I would argue that the other children are, as long as the supporting adult is allowing the children to follow their interests and she is there is observe or extend learning that they have initiated. x

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I've never heard that before! I'd definitely say that those children choosing their own activities and being supported by an adult are doing child initiated learning. Why should it effect them if 5 or 6 of the class happen to be sat at the table engaged in an adult led activity? Did she give any reason for her opinion on this?

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The reason she gave was that if children are called to participate in an adult led activity at any time during their child initiated play then they have lost control of their choices. The children not involved in the adult led group would be considered to be engaged in free play supported by an adult which must be differentiated from child initiated learning. Therefore, if it takes most of the morning session to get through all of the children in small groups then no child initiated learning can appear on the timetable; this can only happen when both teacher and TA are supporting play. I can see her point but think I'll have to keep the children until bedtime to fit in the % of child initiated along with all of the activities they themselves have requested to do and the ones that I want them to do!

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For anyone who hasn't seen it or taken time to read, Playing learning and interacting is a good read and unpicks some of this terminology as well as sharing ideas about the role of the adult, and giving examples of what is/isnt Ci or AI.

 

P16 makes this point:

 

It is important for practitioners to consider how best to ensure that children benefit from both child-initiated and adult-led opportunities. It may be possible for the day to involve moving seamlessly between one emphasis and the other. There are risks, however, in not distinguishing between these elements of the routine.

• Where adults focus on supporting particular planned opportunities during child-initiated time, there may be children who regularly do not opt into these activities and so miss the adult stimulus and support for learning.

• When practitioners plan and lead small group activities while other children play, they are not available to observe, engage with and support play.

• If this organisation involves calling children away from their child-initiated activities to join in with adult-led activities, children’s control over their play and sustained time to develop their interests is compromised.

Practitioners may instead develop a clear structure ensuring that all children participate in focused activities and that child-initiated activity is valued and supported.

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Thanks Mundia, I've since read this on the recommendation of consultant but hadn't heard of it before - it does help to clarify. I'm very keen to get things right for the children since returning to EY after being further up the school but it's more a case of not knowing about guidance publications rather than not reading them. I read everything I can get my hands on and if it wasn't for the Forum there are many documents that I still wouln't be aware of - so, many thanks to everyone on here.

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