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Context of Observation

Amber sits on her playing mat and plays with her blocks that are to be stacked based on different sizes and are numbed in descending order. She reads the counting till five and then fumbles between 6 and 7. As she tries to stack block number seven before six, the blocks fail to be stacked and fall. Amber then recalls the counting and stacks again, saying, "five, six, seven, and eight”. This time, she does it correctly and is able to complete her block pyramid. She then measures herself against the blocks and says, “I am a big kid, bigger than these blocks!!”

The Bishop’s six activities of learning focus on the development of numeracy skills in the children and the early learning skills (Alson et al., 2021). One of the primary skills of Bishop’s learning skills is the skill of counting. Counting in the children is associated with the idea of the use of specific sequences and numbers (Bishop, 2020). This helps in pattern-seeking in the children and is one of the primary skills of early childhood education and learning. Placing objects in a particular pattern or in a sequence and sorting objects from a collection are all included in the skill of counting and are also applicable to the skill of counting (Kemp et al., 2019). This is being worked upon in the case of Amber, where she identifies the individual blocks, sorts them in sizes and, in particular, counts. The second aspect of the activities as developed by the framework of Bishop is the activity of locating (McDonald & Rafferty, 2015). Amber locates the position of blocks in context with herself and balances one block on top of another under the activity of balancing. The third activity is of measuring (Macmillion, 2009). Since the blocks belong to different shapes and sizes, Amber measures the dimensions of each block and places them on one over another and identifies her own length in context with the pyramid. The fourth activity is designing, and Amber applies it by converting individual blocks into a pyramid (Kemp et al., 2019). The fifth activity is that of playing, which Amber enjoys in the completion of the entire activity (Helenius, 2018). Finally, the fifth activity is that of explaining (Macmillion, 2009). When Amber exclaims that she is taller than the pyramid, she asserts an explanation of the length and also does it when she asserts the correct sequence of the blocks. Therefore, it can be asserted that the learning of Amber is comprehensive and in alignment with the Bishop’s six activities.

The Scientific Learning Process and Activities of the Child

The child engages in the stacking of the blocks and applies technology to understand the dimensions of the game. The development of these games that can help in enhancing the overall learning in children are also derived from the use of technology. The architecture of the blocks demands that each individual unit of the block is stacked parallel to another and is aligned as systematically. Amber picks up one block after another and tries to stack them.

Play-based learning is one of the core developments that is associated with improved learning outcomes for the children and makes the process of learning more comprehensive (Helenius, 2018). The implication of play-based learning and its overall impact on child growth and development can be assessed through the application of the principle of social constructivism. The theory of social constructivism asserts that the knowledge in the individuals is developed and is asserted through social interactions. The theory was presented by the psychologist Vygotsky and asserted that children develop their leanings based on experience and reality (Iba & Burgoyne, 2019). In the given case, as Amber interacts with the blocks, she develops a greater knowledge of the concept of size and dimension. This helps her learn better and develop an understanding based on her individual experiences (Helenius, 2018). Therefore, the role of learning in child’s activities becomes critical. In the given case, the child feels comfortable and is thus engaged in the game.

The importance of play-based learning has also been asserted in the early childhood pedagogy developed by the EYLF (Early Years Learning Framework) Australia (Government of Australia, 2020). According to EYLF, play-based activities are beneficial as they help in the brain development of children and promote a better sense of well-being. In the given case, the activity undertaken by Amber is conjunction with the EYLF outcome 4. That is, children are confident and involved learners. Since Amber tries to resolve her problem of stacking the blocks, she thinks critically and focuses on the alignment of the blocks. She also adapts from her failures and finds a resolution to her problem. This makes her learning in alignment with the EYLF outcome 4 (Cohrssen, 2021). Therefore, it can be asserted that the overall process of learning through the activity of block stacking in which Amber was involved is comprehensive and promotes involved learning.  

Having a child who is an involved learner can be an opportunity to further enhance the development of the child and promote holistic development. As parents, the essential responsibility should be to further enhance the learnings of the child by focussing on cognitive and physical development. This can be done by engaging child in the activities that are more complex and challenging. The child could be engaged in activities like solving puzzles and treasure hunts.

Use of Technology

I think it is amazing how you have stacked these blocks one above the other. Is it possible to stack them in any other combination? Even I really like blocks and think that they are great. My favourite colour of the blocks in red. I also like to play other games like puzzles where we stack different pieces together to develop a picture. Do you like them too? I think you have been able to stack blocks perfectly. This is a great start to learning.

Josh likes to stay outside in the morning and play in the garden with his mother. He touches different plants and tries to recognize colours as his mother asks him as they move across different plants in the garden. Josh also touches the different plants in the garden. While plating, he places his hands on the touch me, not plant and observes its leaves close. This excites Josh, and he asks his mother to observe the same. He repeats this exercise with other leaves of the plant and cherishes the movement of leaves in response to touch. This becomes a lesson of learning plant response and stimulus for Josh. Josh then touches different leaves of different plants in the garden and establishes that it is only the touch me, not the plant, that responds to his touch.

The 5Es of scientific learning and development were developed in the year 1987 through the Biological Sciences curriculum study. The application of the 5E model has been found to be effective as it helps in encouraging and encountering new concepts for the individuals (Primary Connections, 2008). The application of this model is suitable as it helps in the development of a new and unique learning experience for the children. It also helps in the development of strong foundational knowledge in the process of learning and growth. The five stages of the science learning model include exploring, engage, elaborate, explain, and evaluate (Ruiz-Martín & Bybee, 2022). The first stage of this learning cycle is engagement (Garcia Grau et al., 2021). In the given case, Josh engages himself with his parent in the garden and makes observations of the surroundings. The second stage of the 5E model of learning is the stage of exploration (Primary Connections, 2008). During the exploration phase, the students develop new learning experiences based on their experiences. In the activity, Josh explores the nature of the response to stimulus in touch me, not plant. This teaches Josh that the plant is interacting with him and thus promotes further actions and interactions. The third stage of the 5E model is the stage of elaboration (Ruiz-Martín & Bybee, 2022). Through the stage of exploration, the child is able to understand the application of the learning (Garcia Grau et al., 2021). In this given case, the child responds and applies his learning by exploring the response of different leaves and different plants in the system. The next stage in the 5E model is that of the evaluation. It is in this stage that the process of evaluation of the application of science. Josh applies the process of evaluation when he completes the learning cycle of plant and human interaction (Ruiz-Martín & Bybee, 2022).

The Social and Physical Environment for Improved Learning

The child is conducting activities in the natural environment. No explicit use of technology was applied in this activity.

According to the theory of social constructivism by Vygotsky, the development of an individual is based on individual interactions and that of the environment. The theory asserts that the cognitive functions of an individual are a product of his/her social interactions. Therefore, the social interactions and experiences of an individual play an essential role in cognitive development. The human and environment interaction is thus based on understanding (Vygotsky, 2021). Through the theory of social constructivism, it can be asserted that knowledge develops as a direct consequence of social interaction (Iba & Burgoyne, 2019). In the given case, when Josh experiments with the plants and feels the leaves, he is able to understand the texture of different leaves and also understand how individual interactions are different from general plants and the touch me not plant. This provides a comprehensive process of learning and enhances the process of education development and learning (Iba & Burgoyne, 2019). In the given case when the child feels comfortable in his familiar environment and in proximity with his members of the family, he has the ability to explore the environment and learn more from it.

The learning and development of children in the early years in Australia are also determined by the workings of the early years learning framework (Government of Australia, 2020). The learning experience of Josh is in alignment with the EYLF outcome four. Outcome 4 of the EYLF asserts that the children are involved, learners. Through this learning outcome, it can be asserted that the children develop learning dispositions that include curiosity, cooperation, and creativity (Dang & Keamy, 2021). When Josh experiments with leaves in the garden, he is driven by curiosity and thus focuses on gaining enhanced learning experiences promoting cognitive and social development in the children. The importance of engaging children in a play-based activity for learning has also shown improved outcomes. These include a focus on learning by improved engagement (Government of Australia, 2020). As Josh plays in the natural habitat of the garden, he is exposed to a playful environment where he is able to develop crucial insights and develop his own thinking.

Children are fast learners and adapt new knowledge from their environment through active experimentation driven by curiosity. In the case of Josh, his interest seems to be inclined towards learning from the natural environment, and the same should be explored in association with the same.

Relationship with the EYLF Outcomes

This is a great Josh. Not all plants are closing their leaves on being touched. I think this plant is doing so because it is responding to your touch, just like you do. Also, see how different leaves and plants have different shapes and colours.

 References

Aldon, G., Cusi, A., Schacht, F., & Swidan, O. (2021). Teaching mathematics in a context of lockdown: A study focused on teachers’ praxeologies. Education Sciences, 11(2), 38. https://www.mdpi.com/969724 

Bishop, A. (2020). Values in mathematics education. In Encyclopedia of mathematics education (pp. 893-896). Cham: Springer International Publishing. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/978-3-030-15789-0_160.pdf 

Cohrssen, C. (2021). Considering form and function: A commentary on the review of the early years learning framework for Australia. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 46(3), 216-223. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/18369391211018518 

Dang, S., & Keamy, R. K. (2021). Learning dispositions in the Early Years Learning Framework: two VET teachers’ experiences of walking the learning dispositions talk. International Journal of Training Research, 1-17. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14480220.2021.1944273 

Erbil, D. G. (2020). A review of flipped classroom and cooperative learning method within the context of Vygotsky theory. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 1157. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01157/full 

Garcia Grau, F., Valls Bautista, C., Camacho-Alonso, F., Piqué i Clusella, N., & Ruiz-Martín, H. (2021). The long-term effects of introducing the 5E model of instruction on students' conceptual learning. International Journal of Science Education, 2021, vol. 1. https://diposit.ub.edu/dspace/handle/2445/181309 

Gerde, H. K., & Wasik, B. A. (2021). Developing language through science. The Reading Teacher. Springer. https://ila.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/trtr.2075 

Government of Australia (2020). The early years learning framework for Australia. https://www.acecqa.gov.au/sites/default/files/2018-02/belonging_being_and_becoming_the_early_years_learning_framework_for_australia.pdf 

Helenius, O. (2018). Explicating professional modes of action for teaching preschool mathematics. Research in Mathematics Education, 20(2), 183-199. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14794802.2018.1473161 

Hwa, S. P. (2018). Pedagogical change in mathematics learning: Harnessing the power of digital game-based learning. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 21(4), 259-276. https://www.jstor.org/stable/26511553 

Iba, T., & Burgoyne, A. (2019). Pattern language and the future of education in light of constructivist learning theories, part 2: the social constructivism of Lev Vygotsky. In Proceedings of the 24th European Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (pp. 1-11). https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/3361149.3361183

Kemp, L., Bruce, T., Elcombe, E. L., Anderson, T., Timpani, G., Price, A., ... & Goldfeld, S. (2019). Quality of delivery of “right@ home”: Implementation evaluation of an Australian sustained nurse home visiting intervention to improve parenting and the home learning environment. PLoS One, 14(5), 5371. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10864-019-09327-8 

MacDonald, A., & Rafferty, J. (2015). Investigating mathematics, science and technology in early childhood. Oxford University Press. https://ezproxy.csu.edu.au/login?url=https://csuau.eblib.com/patron/Authentication.aspx?ebcid=9503623b937d4338b17ff0b2b41b1ab2&echo=1&userid=%5Eu

Macmillan, A. (2009). Shared contexts for teaching and learning numeracy. In   Numeracy in early childhood: Shared contexts for teaching and learning  (pp. 20-33). Oxford University Press. https://doms.csu.edu.au/csu/file/6f2e9540-ccd0-409d-a46a-e794b9ddc9ce/1/macmillan-a1.pdf 

Primary Connections. (2008). An elaboration of the Primary Connections 5Es teaching and learning model. https://www.primaryconnections.org.au/sites/default/files/inline-files/An%20elaboration%20of%20the%205E%20model_1.pdf 

Ruiz-Martín, H., & Bybee, R. W. (2022). The cognitive principles of learning underlying the 5E Model of Instruction. International Journal of STEM Education, 9(1), 1-9. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s40594-022-00337-z 

Vygotsky, L. S. (2021). The problem of age periodization in child development. In LS Vygotsky’s Pedological Works. Volume 2. (pp. 11-38). Springer, Singapore. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-981-16-1907-6_2 

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