Co-construction for parents

Some aspects of Little Scientists’ educational approach may not come naturally to parents educated in a traditional school system.

Co-construction, building on the knowledge of those around you, is not necessarily encouraged in a high school system that is trying to discourage copying and cheating. It is quicker (and seen as more efficient) to explain to students that the angles of a triangle add up to 180 degrees rather than allow them to inquire into it and discover it themselves. High schools and universities, and even primary schools, often have a very full curriculum, which may mean that the emphasis is on imparting facts and knowledge as quickly as possible. Early childhood does not suffer (too much) from this, so it is the ideal time to learn skills such as teamwork and knowledge sharing and play with different roles within the team, which helps build valuable life skills.

Kids pouring water into tube
Kids sorting coloured balls

Psychologist Albert Bandura has defined self-efficacy as “one’s belief in one’s ability to succeed in specific situations or accomplish a task”. Our sense of self-efficacy can play a major role in how we approach goals, tasks and challenges. Children can be involved in the planning and implementation of activities in their early childhood service or at home. You, as a parent, can be a part of the team and an interested participant rather than the project lead or a bystander. By being part of the team, you can help your child develop their leadership abilities, communication skills, negotiation skills, organisational skills and many other vital life skills that they will need in the future. Allowing children to take different roles within an activity or project can help increase their self-efficacy. Why not take a step back and let your children plan the next weekend activity or project? Co-construction in practice allows everyone involved to build on other people’s knowledge and share the process with each other. Problems are solved together and answers are constructed as a team.

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