Encourage meaningful and authentic contexts for inquiry

Encourage meaningful and authentic contexts for inquiry, linked for example, to: events and experiences in everyday life; children’s interests and concerns; questions emerging from cross-curricular projects or explorations; and issues in the wider environment beyond school.

Notwithstanding the recognition that Inquiry based Science Education and Creative Approaches both include attention to problem solving in exploratory contexts, in which questions, collaboration, motivation and reflection play a significant role, the efficacy of these approaches depend in large part on the teacher’s role, scaffolding children’s learning. Findings from the review of policy carried out in Creative Little Scientists suggest that limited attention is given in policy to contexts for learning such as drama, stories, historical projects or everyday experiences in the environment. Exemplification would be valuable of the kinds of contexts teachers can provide, and ways of capitalizing upon them to foster inquiry and creativity. The results of the in-field research carried out in the project indicated the important contribution of rich, motivating contexts in generating ideas, questions and interests, but also the need for teacher sensitivity to features of inquiry and emerging ideas implicit in young children’s explorations, as well as for time and teacher flexibility to build on these.

Fani Stylianidou

Ellinogermaniki Agogi, Greece

Creative Little Scientists, www.creative-little-scientists.eu