The ecological framework has become a foundation for understanding how children’s life experiences relate to their engagement in outdoor play. How early learning teachers define children, families, childhood, and play will depend on their:
Research suggests that early learning teachers who engage in professional development related to outdoor play are more likely to provide children with experiences that support children’s development. When adults have the knowledge about why children require freedom to experiment, observe, engage in trial and error play, and act upon their curiosity, they are better able to support providing children with an array of experiences in the early learning program and community. Children who are exposed to adults that have had interesting outdoor experiences, are curious about exploring and discovering, and value outdoor play will most likely have rich outdoor play and learning experiences.
Look at the picture above. What, as an early learning teacher do you see, feel and think about the experience that the children are engaged in? How are your knowledge, life experiences, educational background, sense of curiosity, values and philosophy influencing your response to this photo?
Use the comments box to record your answers.