Developing Independent Learners

“Go to the people, live among them start with what they KNOW.
And when the deed is done, the mission accomplished, of the best leaders the people will say,
we did it ourselves.” Lao Tzu, 6th Century BC.

At Spirit of Play we focus on supporting children to develop the ability to be self-directed in their learning.
By providing a more coherent, flexible and enriched natural curriculum, we are advocating children not as sole leaders of their learning but within an equilibrium where children and adults together negotiate the learning experience. This creates a space where children are listened to and encouraged to apply their own logic to any given situation, rather than us trying to impress upon them our adult intellect. The word respect surfaces often as does consultation, respect for the child as a natural, active learner who should be consulted throughout the ongoing process of learning.

Children need a connection to the learning and should be inspired, engaged and motivated by the process. Adults need to truly listen and respond to children. Children have opinions from an early age on and we as adults should pay credence to them since they enable us to provide a close match in provision.

We encourage children to take responsibility, because ownership increases their engagement and their confidence to communicate. We teach to the knowledge of the children and add strategies to document their learning.

Through Outdoor Education and our Walkabout program, learning occurs for both the adults and the children within the context of a real-life situation. The children are seen as both teachers and learners, collaborating with each other in their learning journeys. The teacher takes on the role of facilitator and observer, supporting and interpreting the experience, where needed, but allowing the environment to speak directly to each child’s imagination.

I love working with children. They have an amazing perspective of the world around them and always help me to see things in new ways. They are and will always be my teachers.
Oliver Watkins, Teacher, 2015.

Click here to learn more about our teachers and staff.