Dr. Jane Broderick, a professor in the Department of Early Childhood Education in East Tennessee State University’s Clemmer College, is co-author of From Children’s Interests to Children’s Thinking: Using a Cycle of Inquiry to Plan Curriculum, recently published by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
Broderick co-authored the book with Dr. Seong Bock Hong, a faculty member at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
Written primarily for preschool and early childhood teachers as well as preschool directors, From Children’s Interests to Children’s Thinking: Using a Cycle of Inquiry to Plan Curriculum focuses on the emergent inquiry approach in education that encourages teachers to build educational experiences based on their observations of their students.
“Whether the students are playing or participating in an educational activity, it is important for teachers to listen to the questions they are asking,” Broderick described. “What makes them curious? Where are their interests? What are they asking questions about?”
“In some ways, it is like tossing a ball back and forth with a child, as teachers use the answers to those questions to create learning activities for the children,” she added. “For those educators new to this process, planning and implementing projects that are aligned with these inquiries can be challenging, so our goal with the book is to provide strategies for making the process of using the cycle of inquiry accessible to a broad audience.”
Broderick says the book, which she describes as a practical guide for teachers, offers guidance on designing a cycle of inquiry-based curriculum and creating a classroom environment that facilitates this learning approach, which is often referred to as Reggio inspired. Chapters in the book include sections on observing, interpreting the meaning play, and developing questions to engage students.
The book is also designed as a planning guide and includes forms teachers can use to document observations and interpretations and to set goals to be used to frame the planning, as well as for evaluation of the learning opportunities and teacher facilitation. Digital forms can be downloaded at www.innovativECE.com.