Naturally, the teacher’s role is to motivate and encourage the child while engaging with them through play. It is in children’s nature, that they are born with thirst to learn and develop as they grow up. This is the prime reason that the teacher’s role in helping them explore new things, is essential.When children are allowed to satisfy their curiosity, learning occurs naturally. The kindergarten teacher of my class in Zebbug Primary, provides the children with enriching experiences while they are playing in order to give their learning potential a boost and pushes them forward to gain new learning opportunities one step at at time. Vygotsky views interaction as an effective way of developing skills and strategies brought out through curiosity. He believed that when a child is in the ZPD during a particular task, the teacher’s help is of high importance, since through the appropriate assistance, it will help him or her to achieve the task.
The zone of proximal development (ZPD) has been defined as: “the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem-solving under adult guidance, or in collaboration with more capable peers” (Vygotsky, 1978). “Once the student, with the benefit of scaffolding, masters the task, the scaffolding can then be removed, and the student will then be able to complete the task again on his own.” ¹¹McLeod, S. A. (2012), Zone of proximal development, https://www.simplypsychology.
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org/Zone-of-Proximal-Development.htmlThe class teacher is always encouraging them when they execute positively in a new task, while also rewarding them occasionally through positive reinforcement. She also tries to create an interesting environment in the classroom, since toddlers explore using their senses, while she gradually introduces new experiences related to different themes each month, which all have a purposeful meaning in relation to exploring the environment. The students’ teacher uses restriction as rarely as possible to give them their own space to explore different things with their classmates, while still monitoring them to a maximum. This way, the children will learn to be independent and helps them to let their imagination run wild as a result of their curiosity. Ms.
Joanne, suggested to always entice children, while keeping a close eye to what attracts their attention. This curiosity will further lead to a natural path in learning.Consequently, children ask a great deal of questions on everything they encounter. Following observations in my class, I learnt that one should not just answer the kids’ questions promptly, but help them so that together you find the answer. Spoon feeding will inhibit the child to explore independently, while leaving a bad impact on their learning progress.
It is also a great idea to take out the children from the class setting and explore the outdoors. This will be fascinating for the children, while giving them the time they need to explore anything that grabs their attention; such as bugs, leaves, trees flowers and other nature related things. The teacher in my class recommended that one should not rush the children but allow them to take their time, as lack in doing so will discourage curiosity.