Early Years Learning Framework

4.0 Children are confident and involved learners
A sense of security and sound wellbeing gives children the confidence to experiment and explore and to try out new ideas, thus developing their competence and becoming active and involved participants in learning.

Children are more likely to be confident and involved learners when their family and community experiences and understandings are recognised and included in the early childhood setting. This assists them to make connections and to make sense of new experiences.

Children use processes such as exploration, collaboration and problem solving across all aspects of curriculum. Developing dispositions such as curiosity, persistence and creativity enables children to participate in and gain from learning. Effective learners are also able to transfer and adapt what they have learned from one context to another and to locate and use resources for learning.

In a supportive active learning environment, children who are confident and involved learners are increasingly able to take responsibility for their own learning, personal regulation and contribution to the social environment. Connections and continuity between learning experiences in different settings make learning more meaningful and increase children’s feelings of belonging.

Children develop understandings of themselves and their world through active, hands-on investigation. A supportive active learning environment encourages children’s engagement in learning which can be recognised as deep concentration and complete focus on what captures their interests. Children bring their being to their learning. They have many ways of seeing the world, different processes of learning and their own preferred learning styles.

Active involvement in learning builds children’s understandings of concepts and the creative thinking and inquiry processes that are necessary for lifelong learning. They can challenge and extend their own thinking, and that of others, and create new knowledge in collaborative interactions and negotiations. Children’s active involvement changes what they know, can do, value and transforms their learning. Educators’ knowledge of individual children is crucial to providing an environment and experiences that will optimise children’s learning.

4.1 Children develop a growth mindset and learning dispositions such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity

This is evident, for example, when children:

  • express wonder and interest in their environments are curious and enthusiastic participants in their learning use play to investigate, imagine and explore ideas follow and extend their own interests with enthusiasm, energy and concentration initiate and contribute to play experiences emerging from their own ideas participate in a variety of rich and meaningful inquiry-based experiences persevere and experience the satisfaction of achievement persist even when they find a task difficult

Educators promote this learning, for example, when they:

  • recognise and value children’s involvement in learning provide learning environments that are fl exible and open-ended respond to children’s displays of learning dispositions by commenting on them and providing encouragement and additional ideas encourage children to engage in both individual and collaborative explorative learning processes listen carefully to children’s ideas and discuss with them how these ideas might be developed provide opportunities for children to revisit their ideas and extend their thinking model inquiry processes, including wonder, curiosity and imagination, try new ideas and take on challenges refl ect with children on what and how they have learned build on the knowledge, languages and understandings that children bring to their early childhood setting explore the diversity of cultures and social identities promote in children a strong sense of who they are and their connectedness to others – a shared identity as Australians

4.2 Children develop a range of learning and thinking skills and processes such as problem solving, inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating

This is evident, for example, when children:

  • apply a wide variety of thinking strategies to engage with situations and solve problems, and adapt these strategies to new situations create and use representation to organise, record and communicate mathematical ideas and concepts make predictions and generalisations about their daily activities, aspects of the natural world and environments, using patterns they generate or identify and communicate these using mathematical language and symbols explore their environment manipulate objects and experiment with cause and effect, trial and error, and motion contribute constructively to mathematical discussions and arguments use refl ective thinking to consider why things happen and what can be learnt from these experiences

Educators promote this learning, for example, when they:

  • plan learning environments with appropriate levels of challenge where children are encouraged to explore, experiment and take appropriate risks in their learning recognise mathematical understandings that children bring to learning and build on these in ways that are relevant to each child provide babies and toddlers with resources that offer challenge, intrigue and surprise, support their investigations and share their enjoyment provide experiences that encourage children to investigate and solve problems encourage children to use language to describe and explain their ideas provide opportunities for involvement in experiences that support the investigation of ideas, complex concepts and thinking, reasoning and hypothesising encourage children to make their ideas and theories visible to others model mathematical and scientifi c language and language associated with the arts join in children’s play and model reasoning, predicting and reflecting processes and language intentionally scaffold children’s understandings listen carefully to children’s attempts to hypothesise and expand on their thinking through conversation and questioning

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4.3 Children transfer and adapt what they have learned from one context to another

This is evident, for example, when children:

  • engage with and co-construct learning develop an ability to mirror, repeat and practice the actions of others, either immediately or later make connections between experiences, concepts and processes use the processes of play, refl ection and investigation to solve problems apply generalisations from one situation to another try out strategies that were effective to solve problems in one situation in a new context transfer knowledge from one setting to another

Educators promote this learning, for example, when they:

  • value signs of children applying their learning in new ways and talk about this with them in ways that grow their understanding support children to construct multiple solutions to problems and use different ways of thinking draw children’s attention to patterns and relationships in the environment and in their learning plan for time and space where children can refl ect on their learning and to see similarities and connections between existing and new learning share and transfer knowledge about children’s learning from one setting to another, by exchanging information with families and with professionals in other settings encourage children to discuss their ideas and understandings understand that competence is not tied to any particular language, dialect or culture

4.4 Children resource their own learning through connecting with people, place, technologies and natural and processed materials

This is evident, for example, when children:

  • engage in learning relationships use their senses to explore natural and built environments experience the benefi ts and pleasures of shared learning exploration explore the purpose and function of a range of tools, media, sounds and graphics manipulate resources to investigate, take apart, assemble, invent and construct experiment with different technologies use information and communication technologies (ICT) to investigate and problem solve explore ideas and theories using imagination, creativity and play use feedback from themselves and others to revise and build on an idea

Educators promote this learning, for example, when they:

  • provide opportunities and support for children to engage in meaningful learning relationships provide sensory and exploratory experiences with natural and processed materials provide experiences that involve children in the broader community and environment beyond the early childhood setting think carefully about how children are grouped for play, considering possibilities for peer scaffolding introduce appropriate tools, technologies and media and provide the skills, knowledge and techniques to enhance children’s learning provide opportunities for children to both construct and take apart materials as a strategy for learning develop their own confi dence with technologies available to children in the setting provide resources that encourage children to represent their thinking