Early learning teachers play a key role in guiding children’s opportunities for learning in ways that support their interests and development. Dispositions in the simplest terms refer to the frequency and consistency of thinking and doing. Early learning teachers, through the environments, experiences, and role modelling provided to children can nurture and strengthen children’s dispositions. For example, when children are exposed to early learning teachers that have strong beliefs about the benefits of children playing outdoors, and have an awareness of children’s dispositions and provide options and encouragement for both adults and children to engage in outdoor play, these combined actions can contribute to children developing a desire to play outdoors.
Enhancing children’s dispositions in early learning programs generally builds upon what children:
- Already know
- Are interested in
- Have skills in
- Express as part of their daily living
- Are sensitive to within their environments
When we think about children and their desire to play outdoors, we look at how early learning teachers can develop outdoor places that support the children in experiencing elements of an outdoor environment that cultivate the disposition of embracing outdoor play and environments. Examine the graphic below and then reflect upon how the outdoor environments and adults within those environments support and role model the related dispositions.
Think about children and outdoor play. What, through role modelling and the outdoor play environment that children have access to, supports enhancing their dispositions in developing a love and joy in being outdoors?
- Defining Dispositions and How They Relate to Outdoor Play
- Dispositions and Outdoor Environments
- How Children Learn Through Outdoor Play
- The Relationship of Dispositions to Children’s Experiences and Learning
- Engaging Families in Supporting Children’s Dispositions and Learning Outdoors
- How Outdoor Play Strengthens Dispositions of Children with Special Needs