The Relationship of Dispositions to Children’s Experiences and Learning

Topic Progress:

According to Bertram and Pascal (2002), there are four dispositions that influence children’s learning as outlined  below.


Being self-sufficient

Being able to self-organize

Being able to self-regulate


Expressing curiosity through imagination, innovation and ideas

Expressing an interest in the world around them


Having the energy and ability to express a focus on activities and experiences with enthusiasm


Having the ability to bounce back from mistakes, failures or frustration while retaining control and a positive sense of spirit

Early learning outdoor play environments that have caring, inquisitive adults and are organized to provide children the freedom to explore, wonder, engage in and facilitate their own play episodes have more opportunities to learn about and develop positive dispositions.

You are required to complete the quiz for this topic.

Using the comments box below, identify the types of dispositions you believe children in your environment experience. Are there any dispositions that you would like to change? If so, how might you make those changes?


  1. Angela Hutton

    I see evidence of all of these areas in our environment but also recognize that we could improve in all areas as well. While some children are highly motivated, others are very dependant on staff telling them what to play and how, where to find something that they want or how to solve a problem. An increase in loose pieces and presenting them in a more noticeable way may help move our program forward in a manner that facilitates greater independence, imagination and resilience.

  2. Candy holloway

    With the varied nature of Family Resource programs I see all types of dispositions from Independent, Resilient, Curious and Creative to Reflective, Energetic and Enthusiastic. While some of these dispositions can cause flare ups on occasion i understand why they happen and would like to think acquiring skills not yet mastered will help with these instances.

  3. Geri-Lynn Cajindos

    When I reflect in the many environments that I work in and especially in today’s strange times with my own children, the environment has plenty of opportunities supporting independence and creativity. Although there are also opportunities for self motivation and resilience, I know this area is one that I’d like to further, especially with the times. I fear that the extended isolation may have fostered more co-dependence, insecurity depending on how each individual families were able to cope with the times.

  4. Wendy Gilchrist

    This past year our child care centre focused on enhancing our outdoor learning environment as one of our centre goals. After a 4 month shut down of our centre and our recent opening we are looking forward to implementing more strategies to enhance our outdoor learning environment. Prior to Coivd 19- as educators we began to loosening up on some of our rules for the children playing outside -example- allowing them to climb up the slide, allowing them to climb up the small inside fence in our playground. This allowed children to take risks and show responsibility. They know that they need to wait their turn to climb up the slide if someone is going down. The joy on their faces being allowed to climb up the small 4 feet inside fence was priceless! The persistent in trying to get to the top of the fence and then seeing who could hold on the longest was awesome to see. The engagement by the children encouraging their friends was another wonderful observation by the educators. Guess what no one has gotten hurt either by climbing up the slide or climbing up the small fence.

  5. Corina Manasseri

    Working with large groups of various ages groups of children with their families or their providers in a school setting is limited for an educator in the engagement process with the child. Modelling and encouraging in the dispositions are encouraged as well as facilitating the environment and activities.

  6. Shirley Suttak

    In the EarlyON Parent/Caregiver and Child interaction program I facilitate I see creativity, and self motivation and resilience. I would like to continue to work on independence. Parents and Caregivers tend to direct their child or not give them the time to continue on an experience. I suggest to parents to first observe what their children are doing with the materials and wait give them time to figure out what they want to test out or explore (so wait) then Listen to what their child may be telling you or asking you this when they invite you in to their play so then follow their lead.

  7. marie-france bourgoin-leger

    I work in an Early ON centre, where parents and children come together and play and sign with us. It seems to me that for some of them, the self-motivation is a challenge. Is it because parents are around? In my last experience in a day care, I could see that my colleagues were using any excuses to stay inside. I remember feeling very frustrated. The children were then difficult outside, not engaged and cried a lot.

  8. Gaye Ferguson

    thinking of our family early learning drop in, I believe most of the children express all of the dispositions listed. the one I might like to look at is Self-Motivation because it seems like the parents and caregivers who accompany the children, sometimes are too directive with their kids, not letting them fail, not letting them finish what they started, etc. Trick is how to approach that and not diminish the parent’s own self confidence etc. It’s a balancing act.

  9. Francine Bolduc

    lots of the children have creativity as they play especially if you provide them with lots of loose parts. Our environment has changed quite a bit in the last year and we have provided them with more chances to be more creative, to be independent as materials are easily accessible, safe for them to use or children have been prepared to know how to use tools, if necessary. They show signs of resilience, when they fall or hurt themselves but stand up again, back to what they were doing.

  10. Karen Pinsent Higdon

    I believe that in our environmental experiences, we see all four dispositions..Independence, Creativity, Self-Motivation and Resilience all the time

  11. Valerie Foley

    I believe to an extent all of the four dispositions are present in our environments. Our children show independence while playing, along with creativity, self motivation and resilience.

  12. Rashida Samar

    All thee dispositions are important for children to experience and to learn.
    Resilience : some children do not like to be looser they only want to win so I try my best to let them know that loose or win dose not matter what matter at the end is what you learn.
    Self motivation: we have kids who do not focus on activities they get tired and bored they just want to finish as quickly as they can so i sit with them and we play together.

  13. Vicki Pollock

    Because I work at a Family Resource Center and work with so many different children in the run of a week I see all of the dispositions in the children I work with. The disposition that really sticks out to me, as one that needs some help developing is resilience. Many of the children I work with are not able to handle failure or frustration in a positive way. I would like to help them develop this disposition because I know giving up on one’s self to easily (or sulking because of frustrations) inhibits learning experiences. Some ways I may be able to help is by playing games that have winners and losers – hopefully getting a chance to praise the loser for positive behaviour. Or while using loose parts and suggesting they use them to build a tower. When it falls over quickly encouraging them to start again.

  14. Vicki Pollock

    Because I work at a Family Resource Center and work with so many different children in the run of a week I see all of the dispositions in the children I work with. The disposition that really sticks out to me, as one that needs some help developing is resilience. Many of the children I work with are not able to handle failure or frustration in a positive way. I would like to help them develop this disposition because I know giving up on ones self to easily (or sulking because of frustrations) inhibits learning experiences. Some ways I may be able to help is by playing games that have winners and losers – hopefully getting a chance to praise the loser for positive behaviour. Or while using loose parts and suggesting they use them to build a tower. When it falls over quickly encouraging them to start again.

  15. Farnaz Karimizadeh

    I see almost all these dispositions when we give children freedom to explore and create. By putting many loose parts and open ended activities in our indoor and outdoor playtime , we try to encourage developing positive dispositions in kids.
    We should focus on more open ended questions and let kids know that it is ok to make a mistake.

  16. Jade Brass

    The resilience the children show daily is so incredible the resilience they provide just by showing up to me is huge! Then with this resilience comes the independence, creativity and self motivation. So many special moments where all of this can be witnessed in moments throughout the days.

  17. Sasha Patterson

    In our learning environment I see Independence, Creativity and Self Motivation. Lots of children need help with resiliency but I believe that is a learned skill to overcome difficulties and work toward your goal.

  18. Sharon Evenden

    I encourage independence and creativity because I think that those dispositions help build up self motivation and resilience. I can’t think of any that I would like to change but I expect if I did I would follow the same path of encouraging independence and creativity unless it was having no effect or causing issues.

  19. Kayley Bach

    Creativity is the top disposition I see in our environment, we have the forest as a class room so they have to be creative when playing. We also work a lot on independence and the ability to self regulate and figure out how their bodies are feeling and what needs to be done. Resilience is something that we have yet to see a lot of. Teaching in an outdoor environment means many bumps and bruises and we find children sometimes take a long time to bounce back from these set backs. It is a work in progress!

  20. Brie Schuler

    Independence is a primary disposition of the children in my centre. The children love the opportunity to be able to explore on their own terms, and to use the materials in the way that they want to. By setting up the environment in a open concept way, it invites the children to utilize materials from more than one area in order to explore their surroundings with more depth and a greater understanding.

  21. Yiyun Zhang

    I can see children in my care is experiencing creativity and self-motivation. Independent and resilience need to be encouraged and supported more. I would like to support them by offering more meaningful options, providing necessary
    help, more space to explore freely and role modeling, etc.

  22. Jennifer Dyson

    Creativity is one strong disposition I see in children. How they engage in outdoor play and manipulate loose parts showcase their independent thinking and creativity. Depending on the age of the child, there are times where I see a lack of independence for self regulation. Children become frustrated and upset if another child disrupts their play or when their ideas are not working to their expectation. Even when playing games with their peers can lead to frustration and lack self regulation if they do not agree upon the rules or do not “win”. I see children with strong dispositions in self motivation. It is rare to see a child outside just wondering, not engaged in some sort of activity. Children truly seem to enjoy outdoor experiences with great enthusiasm.

  23. Shannon Jarvis

    Although I do not have a specific environment to target in on. I do believe that our public spaces and programs can aid in nurturing and developing all dispositions.

  24. Shawna Diduck

    I think that in some way all of the dispositions are encouraged in our environment but I think it never hurts to look at your center and re-evaluate where and how you can change things and plan things differently to encourage development in these areas.

  25. T Y

    Using the comments box below, identify the types of dispositions you believe children in your environment experience. Are there any dispositions that you would like to change? If so, how might you make those changes?

    I see all four dispositions in varying degrees among the children I work with. There are some who have stronger dispositions towards creativity while others are more independent for instance. I would be mindful now in my observations and interactions with the children and the way in which I plan and set up the environment and activities in order to provide opportunities for them to continue to develop positive dispositions.

  26. HeidiK

    I see creativity, self motivation with the preschoolers at my centre. But not very much resilience and independence. I believe the children need more experiences provided for them to problem solve and to engage on their own and stop being led by the ECE.

  27. June

    I work with toddlers and I see that many of the children experience all these types of dispositions in our environment. There are definitely a few of them who, whether it’s their young age or their life experiences, who need help to develop these dispositions. As an educator, need to think about how we can facilitate and then help them to then move on to being more self-motivated and independent.

  28. Kati

    I think our centre encompasses the whole variety of dispositions although the adult-led activities are quite many. We support creativity and independence the most, but also self motivation. We have children who change amazingly becoming independent, confident, and eager to prove themselves.

  29. Kerrie Sinclair

    We see all of the four types of dispositions in our environment. I would love to see all children having all of these dispositions together however, then I wouldn’t have a job. Some of the most common ones I see are Independence and Creativity. I would love to see more Resilience, in my class. I could foster this, by encouraging children that mistakes are ok. Asking children open-ended questions to help them come up with solutions to their failures.

  30. Louanne MacRae

    The program in our environment is built on pillars which encompass these 4 dispositions. Children are given the opportunities to develop independence through making choices and taking care of their own needs. Creativity is an open ended experience; the children are able to choose what they make and the materials they use. Self motivation is supported through eveyday activities such as open snacks and family style meals, getting dressed themselves, and choosing their own activities. Our environment promotes resilience through risk taking, problem solving, and making safe choices. Children progress in all of these areas at different rates.

  31. Donna Legere

    In our environment I see all of the dispositions. Children are given the freedom to be who they are while learning what they are capable of. Independence is always encouraged and when they feel they make mistakes, we are there to walk them through their feelings and move forward. Open ended questions are always a part of their learning experiences to be able to express their creativity.

  32. Amy

    In my environment I often see children develop a strong disposition of creativity and self-motivation. They often love to run and create in the wooded path. I see them try to pick up large rocks and make structures out of wood pieces.

  33. mvll

    In one instance I observed a child display all 4 dispositions. As this child attempted to climb onto a teeter-totter I observed as the went through this experience without asking for support (independence), as she used trial and error to achieve her goal she demonstrated self motivation and resilience. lastly, she chowed creativity when she ended up riding the teeter-totter side saddle style when she decided she would be unable to mount the teeter-totter with a leg on each side.

  34. DC

    I see all four dispositions in the children’s play, some are better than others, and some need more practice. Resilience is the disposition I would like to see more work on, helping the children to become more resilient through more opportunities to become more successful through their mistakes.

  35. Laura Barthelette

    I see all 4 dispositions in various degrees. Resilience is one that I feel is the least present and the one I would like to work on the most. I think allowing an environment where mistakes are okay is a good place to start. Children need to know that mistakes are a part of learning and that we all make them. Changing terminology is another thing I could so. They are not mistakes but first tries.

  36. Nikki Meyer

    In the programs I coach, I notice that when educators support all of these dispositions children are more engaged in play. When educators have a more tradition perspective of their role they are less likely to support dispositions like creativity, and children seem to have increased difficulties with self-regulation and resilience. I wish more children in programs had additional support with the disposition of resilience, I believe it would reduce the number of programs struggling with behavioural challenges.

  37. Emma D. Rodilas

    These Four dispositions that influence Children’s Learning is being practiced in our school. As Play-based learning we deeply encouraged our children to be independent, creative, self- motivated and being resilient to the activities being offered to them. We even motivate them on how to react positively and what are the possible ways to solve such a situation that may arise. I would rather implement this for a friendly and safe environment for children. So, educational philosophy has become a staple in every educator’s teaching portfolio.

  38. Tanya Morash

    Using the comments box below, identify the types of dispositions you believe children in your environment experience. Are there any dispositions that you would like to change? If so, how might you make those changes?
    Our environments both indoors and out are designed to support/motivate children to be independent and creative while offering opportunities for them to build resilience- helping them work through frustrations and mistakes by helping them to find solutions.

  39. Bonnie Boyd

    I find that all of the children in my care expresses one or more of these dispositions with ease, especially curiosity. Self motivation and resilience are two dispositions that I often find myself trying to foster a little bit more. Children tend to give up to easily, sometimes.

  40. melissa gallant

    I see all of the dispositions with the children in my centre. I would like to work on resilience more with some of the children and staff as well. It can be difficult to bounce back after a failure, especially when you have worked really hard on something or if it’s your first time trying something.

  41. Wendy Flegel

    I see all of the dispositions with our children. The one that I would like to work more on is resilience. It takes time for children to learn that its okay to make mistakes and have a positive outlook.

  42. Sheila Maputi

    Most of the four types of disposition I’ve already seen and observed in all the children in my care. Some of the kids are still working on parts of Independence. I believe kids are born with the capability to be creative and always have high energy with connection to self motivation. The challenging type of disposition for me is resilience, mostly kids will be having a hard time to have this. But assisting them coup and practice resilience often times by giving ceaseless encouragement, support, love and care.

  43. Adriana Carrillo

    In our environment at the day home I see three types of dispositions: Independence, Creativity and Self motivation. I don’t think I change anything, I would like to see in my environment the disposition of Resilience, I think this is the most difficult to acquire and implement for the kids in my environment.

  44. Alison Rinas

    As an early learning coach I see many of these dispositions to learn in many of the programs I support. I see independence when children are able to explore and excuse the play ideas to their fullest capacity taking over the area of parts of the classroom in order for their ideas and theories to come alive. Self 0 motivation – I see when children are positively encouraged to keep tying mastering a skill to their best ability and the child persists to keep mastering a skill, creativity, is when I go into a classroom and see the children able to create their own masterpieces and expression through art or any loose materials accessible in the classroom, These are examples of how I see dispositions,

  45. Andrea Sabean

    It is not children in my current environment, but adults, and resilience is a disposition that we discuss often. It is often part of my work to help them see perceived failures as learning experiences.

  46. Angela Gower

    I believe the children in my environment get to experience each disposition. The disposition that I would like to change self-motivation and creativity. We are working towards having an emergent curriculum which I think will help with creativity but there are still lots of teacher led activities that occur throughout the day. I also like the idea of the children choosing their times to go outside, I wish this was more realistic for centres, however, having enhanced ratios is just not a reality for most centres. I do think that having enhanced ratios would help with the self motivation because the schedule would be more flexible. For example, if a group of children are engaged in an experience outdoors, then the extra staff could stay with a group outdoors while the others go in.

  47. Kate Domingo

    When adults encourage the independence of play and be an active participant as well, all these disposition are being promoted, especially when the children being supported during their outdoor experiences.

  48. Paula Watson

    We strongly encourage independence as that is part of our vision statement. We see creativity in many different ways each year brings a whole new dimension to the direction of creative play. This year it is blocks and building. Self-motivation is seen in some and it steadily grows as the year progresses. We see a lot of resilience in the children as their bodies and confidence grow. Working with 3 – 5-year-olds really enfisizes the developmental stages

  49. Karen Koehli-Kozack

    We see all dispositions at some point here in our environment, but unfortunately not enough, Love how with this learning and sharing with co-educators we are seeing the importance of the outdoor play and loose parts and becoming better at following children’s leads

  50. Ashley Barfoot

    I see independence, self-motivation and creativity in our environment. I would like to see more resilience and being able to bounce back from frustration.

  51. Rochelle Muhlert

    sing the comments box below, identify the types of dispositions you believe children in your environment experience. Are there any dispositions that you would like to change? If so, how might you make those changes?

    Children in the outdoor environment at my centre experience resilience and self-motivation, but I think more creativity and independence could be encouraged through the provision of more manipulatives, like loose parts, or more areas where it’s okay for the children to, literally, ‘dig in’. Personally I find it frustrating that often concern for the landscaping is more important than the children’s creativity/curiosity. The children need more areas where they are allowed to be the landscapers.

  52. Mallory

    As far as dispositions go, at our center we serve children aged 5-12, this makes it so we have a wide range of dispositions in our care. The only disposition I try to discourage is the negative towards outdoor play or trying new things, I always tell the children we have to try it once or we will never know if we like it or not. I also turn it back on them and ask them what we could do or bring with us to make it more exciting .

  53. Kathleen Couture

    Each child comes with their own dispositions that have developed through their culture, families, community and experiences. They all show different levels of each of their dispositions at different times. We strive to promote and support positive dispositions in all of the 4 areas mentioned above.

    It is sad to say that in this fast paced world where parents tend to foster dependence by doing everything for their children, (such as dress them as it is quicker), independence from ages 2 to 5 is one that I feel needs the most attention. We need to “rewire” many little brains to help them acknowledge that they capable individuals who can be self sufficient, self organised and self regulate. We need to provide children with opportunities for both trial and error and then for success, to foster this independence. We can also help them by helping their parents so that they too can foster independence in their children, by sharing with the parents, what their child has accomplished.

  54. Mandi Bollinger

    Every child is unique and I see all of the dispositions exercised with our children. Some of our children are much more outgoing than others and want to slide, run, play in the toy cars, jump off of everything in sight and others are content just to sit in the swing while we are outside. The more adventurous children, as well as our influence, will hopefully be a good role model for the more reserved children.

  55. Jessica Brosch

    In our center I see all the dispositions. Children are displaying what is unique to them and we see how strong these are in some of the children on our care. Their individual characteristics make them such interesting people to be able to work with!

  56. Szandrita

    Every child is unique. And also depending of the age of the program there will be some dispositions more noticeable than others. In an afterschool care program, children are mostly resilient as at this stage they are able to comprehend and understand the meaning of making mistakes and learning from them in a more self-regulated manner.

  57. BL

    I see a lot of independence, self motivation and creativity, the most in our program. We are working a lot on the resilience with the small kids.

  58. jen.g

    I see independence, creativity, self-motivation in our classrooms. I would like to work on resilience.

  59. Hunter Goodine

    I see creativity, self- motivation, and independence in my environment experience. One dispositions I would like to change is to include resilience because, when the children make a mistake or don’t succeed at something it makes them very upset/frustrated than understanding its ok to not make it perfect or what the other children’s look like , its your own creativity and perspective of how you see it.

  60. Kendra Crooks

    I think all children have different dispostions within the centre even when presented with the same situations and experiences. Resiliency is one that I think that children could learn more on as many adults could as well.

  61. Alana Cornett

    I think that I see all 4 dispositions in our backyard space. However I think that we can improve in all the areas. In particular I would like to see more independence opportunities for our under 2 children.

  62. Cindy Piwowar

    I have seen children display all four types of dispositions for learning. I see children engaging in similar types of play everyday, where they manage by themselves. I see children taking an interest in what adults are doing or what other children are doing. I see children that have a zest for life and show enthusiasm in everything they do. I also see those children that have been through a lot bounce back and engage in joyous play. I am grateful to experience this in children daily. Although not a disposition, but something I would like to change is children’s dependency on technology and gadgets. It is frightening how many children come in, in the morning, playing on a phone. Children do not need to be so connected to technology.

  63. Kim Janzen

    Each child is unique and different, but I do notice that many of the children in my center are creative, independent, self-motivated and resilient. However, I do know that some of the children do need more positive guidance to also have these types of dispositions. Many children when they first come to my center are not very independent, not self-motivated or resilient. I strive to create a positive experience for all children in my center, and try to encourage positive dispositions in all areas, especially to those that seem to need it more.

  64. Janet Edge

    It’s important to see all varieties of dispositions in our program. I see independence,Creativity, self motivation and resilience in the children of all ages and situations. I strive to remind the children to turn all negativity and turn it into a positive, and what they had learned from that negative or failed experience. The glass is always half full in my opinion and my attitude towards things reflects on how the children do and see things.

  65. Brittany Godfrey

    I see a wide variety of dispositions in our space. Each child varies but I see independence, self motivation, resilience . I would like to work on turning failures into positives and how to help children react positively to mistakes and failures. This is a great tool to have in life , even most adults need to still work on how we treat failing in life.

  66. Ashwak

    Independence, self-motivation, and creativity are dispositions I see in our environment experiences.