Early learning standards look at what a child should know or be able to do based on common development domains. One of the domains is ‘Approaches to Learning’.

When educators talk about ‘approaches to learning’, they are referring to the attitudes, behaviors and learning styles children (and adults) use in social situations, in acquiring information and knowledge, and being flexible and resilient when confronted with change or conflict. ‘Approaches to learning’ also encompasses the development of positive attitudes and dispositions.

Questions to ask yourself about the children in your care that shows how a child approaches learning:
• Are they curious about the world around them?
• Do they want to discover and learn about new things?
• Do they use their imaginations to play make-believe?
• Are they comfortable trying new things?
• Do they use a variety of strategies to solve problems?
• Are they able to complete tasks and stay engaged in an experience?

How can you foster positive development in ‘approaches to learning’?
• Encourage an interest and excitement in discovery and exploration
• Share activities where children and adults learn new things together
• Provide opportunities and materials for children to make choices
• Build upon their ideas and interests
• Explore their neighborhood and community with them
• Model curiosity and excitement for learning

Your child’s inborn ‘approach to learning’ not only impacts their cognitive/school learning, but their social and emotional development. Often curiosity, risk-taking, imagination and invention, persistence, and reflection and interpretation are included in the ‘approaches to learning’ domain. For example, being comfortable with new, unfamiliar circumstances demonstrates positive emotional development and self-concept.

Nurturing your child(ren)’s natural curiosity, imagination and interpretation greatly enhances their ability to get along with others, problem solve, and understand their world!
It is important to use a curriculum that encourages children to explore their world through a variety of activities a teaching strategies. Try the free Dinosaur Unit of Study from to see how the Early Learning Success curriculum can help you provide engaging activities for the children in your care. Download the Unit at http://www.earlylearningsuccess.net