Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

Formalised Curiosity

By: MAIRE CORBETT

Tuesday 22 January 2019

I recently came across this quote: ‘Research is formalised curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose’ (Zora Neale Hurston). As we in Early Childhood Ireland plan our fifth annual National Early Childhood Research Conference, it struck me as very apt.

Aistear encourages curiosity. The themes of Identity & Belonging and Exploring & Thinking both identify the disposition of curiosity as one that early learning and care practitioners should support and encourage young children to develop. In Exploring & Thinking, Aistear says that children need to be able to act on their curiosity, to take risks, and to be open to new ideas and uncertainty. How can we do this?

I think one key way is by modelling. Are we curious in our work and practice? For many, the answer to that is yes! Numerous early learning and care practitioners are taking part in further study beyond the minimum Level 5 required. That’s a fairly curious bunch of people. These people will check papers such as the Growing Up in Ireland (GUI) data. They will refer to documents such as the Pobal Early Years Sector Profile. They will go to Google Scholar for the most up-to-date research on their chosen topic and they will go back to the greats, such as Vygotsky, Piaget, Montessori, and Dewey (among others) to find the Holy Grail. That’s curiosity in action, that’s research.

From this reading and checking and studying comes new research. That new research needs to be shared. It needs to be recognised, poked at, and pried; as the quote above says. The Early Childhood Ireland National Early Childhood Research Conference provides students with this opportunity. If you have carried out a research project for your QQI level 7, 8, 9 or 10 studies, spread the word and tell your peers about it. Take the opportunity to be proud of the research you have carried out, knowing that it gives other practitioners the chance to act on their curiosity and to be open to new ideas and uncertainty (just as Aistear says).

Research comes in all guises. It can be very factual and quantitative. The data from this kind of research aids planning, provides evidence for funding and sustainability submissions, and provides context for other research. But research can also be very practical and hands-on. This kind of research happens in settings every day. It may not be documented and it may not be thought of as research, but it is the germ of research nonetheless. When you notice that a child is bursting to tell you something in the morning, you listen to the story and the journey to something wonderful begins. Go a step further and align what has unfolded with your knowledge of child development and something you read for your degree, and you’re well on your way to a gripping action research project.

We see this in the great learning stories and examples of innovative practice submitted for our awards. That is how our sector becomes ever more professional and cutting-edge. You could well inspire a fellow professional to expand on your ideas with a study of their own.

By indulging our own curiosity as practitioners, we in turn foster that disposition in children. We truly understand that it is by poking and prying that all of us learn best. We ask the what about, the what if, the so what questions and together, with children, we find out the answers.

Albert Einstein reputedly said, ‘Curiosity is a delicate little plant that, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom’. Free your curiosity and submit an abstract for the Early Childhood Ireland National Research Conference - come along on April 12!

 

Bio:
Máire Corbett is an Early Childhood Specialist at Early Childhood Ireland. She trained in Montessori teaching and has completed an MA in Integrated Provision for Children and Families with the University of Leicester at Pen Green.

"Visiting member settings inspires me as I see the passion and energy educators put into providing great experiences for the children in their settings. I love seeing competent children at play!"

0 comments Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

MA(1) Self Help Skills(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Qualifications(1) Arts(1) Care-giving routines(1) AIM(2) toddlers(3) Laugh(1) Inspirational(2) Home Corner(1) Xbox(1) Pobal(1) Treasure Chest(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) First 5(1) Frustrations(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) learning(16) Children's Rights(2) Leprechauns(1) SPICE Framework(1) grandchild(1) CPD(1) Inclusion(3) dining(1) Research and Professional Learning(1) communication(4) Orla Kenny(1) Spiders(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) Performance Management(1) Autism(3) purpose(1) Snacks(1) Primary School(2) Role play(1) Valentine's Day(3) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) INTO(1) Celebrate(1) Anxiety(2) Nutrition(1) Upcycling(1) emotions(2) budget(1) Meal time(1) Capable(1) Growing up Outdoors(1) Challenges(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) Playdough(1) Leargas(1) Sociodramatic play(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) Iraq(1) Titles(1) Budget 2018(1) San Minia(1) Recycle(1) Names(1) Wonder(1) friendships(1) Italy(1) Maynooth(1) Love(2) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Maternity Leave(1) Nuturing interactions(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Maria Montessori(1) Vertical grouping(1) Children(1) EECERA 2016(1) emotional environment(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Communications(1) National Awards 2019(1) Study Trip(1) Laughter(1) Seas Suas(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) Visitors(1) pets(1) Behaviour(3) Awards(2) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Mealtimes(1) Photographs(1) Albert Einstein(1) routine(2) christmas(8) Irish(1) Liz Kerrins(1) DCYA(4) listen(1) Running(1) Maynooth University(1) Map(1) Together Old and Young Programme(1) Budget 2020(1) Favouritism(1) Aistear(110) Wrapping paper(1) Halloween(2) Community involvement(1) ears(1) Snakes(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Limerick(1) Blocks(1) Diversity(1) Engineering Ireland(1) Trade union(1) journey(1) science(3) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) Performing(1) Trade Unions(1) Reflective Practice(1) Nonverbal(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) dublin(2) Flowers(1) Vietnam(1) Design(1) Support(1) Investment(2) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Shoes(1) Exploring(1) Kerry(1) Oireachtas(1) Mayo(1) Snack Time(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) Scéalta Blog(88) Policy(2) Mount Everest(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(1) The Jelly King(1) San Miniato(4) Consent(1) Masterclass(2) Pobal sector profile(1) Independence(1) Eritrea(1) Employee(1) UN(1) Research Seminar(1) Exclusion(1) Imagination(3) Well-Being(8) Inspired Practice Award(5) Celebrations(4) Fabric(1) transitions(10) Whole Group(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) Giraffe(2) College(1) Arithmetic(1) Syria(1) Interactions(2) GDPR(1) Event Guide(1) Workforce(1) curiosity(3) European Project(1) research(6) Wesco(1) Self-regulation(1) Scents(1) parents(5) Gardening(1) planning(1) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) Wilenski(1) Care routines(1) Mindfulness(2) Magda Gerber(1) ICBN(1) Belonging(3) National Pyjama Day(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) Malaguzzi(1) Exit interview(1) Culture(2) RTE Investigates(1) Childcare(2) Staff Motivation(1) Sport(1) CIT(1) Sleep(1) Body Language(1) curriculum(5) Communicating(1) Awards 2019(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) Environment(2) Recycling(2) ECCE(6) educating(1) relationships(16) environments(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) Exercise(1) Music(3) National Holiday(1) Santa(2) Workplace Relations(3) Siolta blog(2) Book Club(2) Cognitive development(1) Penguins(1) babies(7) ERASMUS+(3) Childhood(1) Gratitude(1) University(1) under 3's(3) Time(1) Síolta QAP(1) Supernanny(1) eating(1) Afghanistan(1) Cork(1) New Appointments(1) Painting(1) Health(1) stories(2) Prexit(1) Routines(1) interacting(2) Craft(1) UD(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) feisty(1) early years research(1) Adoption(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) outdoor play(6) science week(2) Creative(1) maternity health(1) Learning journals(1) Online(1) Window(1) Summer(1) documentation(2) Confidence(1) respect(5) overhear(1) Light table(1) Rituals(1) reading(5) Reggio Emilia(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) Treasure(1) Magic(1) play stories(1) dogs(1) Sustainability(3) Buddies(1) Training(2) dining experiences(1) Reggio Children Network(1) ReCreate(2) Children and families(1) National Awards 2018(2) Technology(2) Feeding(1) Sculptures(1) books(4) Thanks(1) linc(1) Socioemotional development(1) outdoor space(3) UNCRC(1) Motor neuron disease(1) Thank you(1) Mo Scéal(1) Identity(5) Early Learning and Care(1) supportive environments(2) Sustainable(1) Reggio(1) Weather(1) Art(6) PIP(1) Universal Design(2) Leadership(1) Plastic(1) Trigonometry(1) memories(1) Visual Impairment(1) IGL(1) Degree(1) outdoors(3) Wendy Lee(2) Maths Week Ireland(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) play(31) Learning Stories(8) Participation(1) The Lullaby Book(1) EM Standing(1) Competent(1) Intention(1) experience(1) Early Years(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) educarer(1) Quality(4) Leaders in Practice(1) preschool(2) baby room(1) scéalta(28) Administrative Burden(1) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Ariana Pucci(1) Department of Education and Skills(1) Party(1) Relaxation(1) Patterns(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Dance(1) Drawing(2) Change(1) MECPI(1) Biting(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) Engineering(2) Interests(1) Learning Story Awards(1) Workplace well-being(1) Time Out(1) Awards 2018(3) animals(2) meals(3) Educators(1) Funding(1) Games(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Sequins(1) Sweets(1) STEM(2) Inter-generational learning(1) Brain(1) Maths Week(1) conversations(1) refugees(1) Potential(1) Buddy Bench(1) Professionalisation(4) Bereavement(2) value(1) NAEYC(1) Twitter(1) Glitter(2) Margy Whalley(1) Appreciation(1) Academics(1) Easter(1) Smiles(1) Montessori(2) Line-ups(1) Fantasy play(1) Arlene Forster(1) Graduate(1) RIE philosphy(1) risk assessment(1) Children's Research Network(1) Engagement(1) Research Conference 2019(1) mushrooms(1) NCCA(3) Our Little Seed(1) Jenga(1) risk(2) Teamwork(1) Queues(1) community(5) Creativity(4) Valerie Gaynor(1) Family wall(1) social media(1) Grief(1) Advocacy(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(1) TRAP(1) Winter(1) Mark Twain(1) First 5 strategy(1) Little Buddies(1) Self-Esteem(1) Mud kitchens(1) Story(1) Interaction(1) Touch(1) blog(28) Early Years Educators(2) Confident(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) HR(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Human Resources(1) Mixed age groups(2) Learning Story(1) Social Skills(1) Settling in(4) CCTV(1) School Age Childcare(1) Identity and Belonging(4) Certificate(1) Affordability(1) InspireMe.ie(1) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Plants(1) Pen green(1) Decisions(1) AsIAm(1) Kids Own(1) worries(1) bonds(1) Loss(1) Breathing(2) Death(2) Trick or treat(1) Budget 2019(2) Mathematicians(1) Builders(1) trust(3) Empathy(1) education(2) Decision Making(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Meet the Members(1) Stress(2) food(1) Japan(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) Through the looking glass(1) risky play(2) Ceremony(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) Mantra(1) Storytelling(2) Playschool(1) Impact(1) Inter-generational(1) Graduation(1) role playing(1) Yoga(1) Kilkenny(1) Thinking(1) development(8) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Family(1) Facebook(1) child-centred approach(1) Mental Health(3) Positivity(1) Engineers Week(2) Lego(2) Magnavacchi(1) United Nations(1) Norway(2) Learning Stories Award(3) early childhood educator(1) Síolta(105) Christmas Creativity(2) Shapes(1) story time(1) listening(1) Obesity(1) TOY Programme(1) Traditions(2) Academic Skills(1) Iceland(1) Tuscan Approach(2) Horizon 2020(1) collaboration(1) Maths(4) Child mental health(1) Traffic Lights(1) ECEC(1)

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine