《声音》 VOICES Ivy's VOICES Fall/Winter Edition 2018 - Page 30

ITI CORNER By Ryan Cardwell, Director of Ivy Training Institute T he question of “How can we encourage a spirit of innovation in young people?” is often discussed in the media and the academy. Typically, these discussions focus on high school and college aged young people. Occasionally, the conversations may even reach children in elementary school, however these discussions almost invariably miss our highest potential innovators: young children. Young Children are Natural Innovators Unlike most people, children are natural explorers and innovators. They spend their entire lives encountering unique problems and searching for solutions. Watching a group of young children in an excellent ECE classroom will give you a sense of what I mean. You will see children working hard to figure out the way the world Ivy Schools Fall/Winter Edition 2018 works. From the nature of gravity, to how to make friends with others, children are constantly working to solve problems, and to them at least, every problem is a new challenge. So how then can schools and educators best support this natural spirit of exploration? Put Play at the Centre of the Classroom Experience One of the more famous quotes in the ECE field is that “Play is the work of children” which is attributed to Maria Montessori. For those of us in the field of ECE we could not agree more. The deepest kind of learning occurs when children are at play. Play is, at its core, an open exploration. Children can play by themselves or in groups. Play is unplanned and open ended exploration. If it can’t be planned, then how can teachers support it?