Investigations in the Classroom

“Young children have a way of combining fact, fantasy and imagination in order to make sense of things and to create, what is for them, a logical explanation. Once we appreciate that, we realize that it’s not just cute; it’s really quite remarkable and we are much more likely to see the scientist and artist in them.”

We spend a lot of time at School Literacy and Culture talking about “process art” rather than “product art.” You know product art because it is what we are most accustomed to seeing in many early childhood classrooms: a pre-designed coloring page, students are given a piece of teacher exemplar art to copy, etc.  Many early education experts encourage an opposite approach to art, wherein a child is given various working materials and creates their own piece of art. Therefore, the work is about the process of creating it rather than what the final product becomes.

This article, published in Community Playthings and written by Judith Pack, a seasoned early educator, encourages not only process art, but process investigations and problem solving in the classroom. The author encourages an exploratory way of teaching and learning – asking students questions about their thinking, inquiring about their ideas and explanations for why or how an event occurred, and most importantly, participating in an investigation about how to find the answer. This process thinking encourages open-mindedness and creativity – two mindsets crucial for development.

We hope you enjoy reading this piece in full and incorporate process investigations in your classroom this school year!

Read the full article here.

Authored by Jordan Khadam-Hir, Rice University School Literacy and Culture
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