Click on the photos to enlarge.
Recognize Discovery and Learning
As they explore and try to manipulate things, infants and toddlers constantly make discoveries. For infants and toddlers, everything is new. They are learning about cause and effect, the use of tools, the permanent nature of objects even when out of sight, and how things fit in space. They also constantly learn new strategies for exploring and acting on things through imitation and experimentation. They learn by touching, mouthing, banging, and squeezing things. By observing infants and toddlers, teachers can see the discovery process at work.
Teachers who recognize the discovery process are more likely to introduce experiences and materials that allow children to explore their interests further. Effective teachers respect the exploration and experimentation of infants and toddlers as they would respect the work of a scientist. They avoid interrupting the children and give them time to pursue their interests. When a child senses that her teacher appreciates her interest in the world, she continues to develop as a self-confident learner and keeps building her competence.