The Characteristics of Effective Learning – an overview

Made with Birth to Five Matters, this over view of the characteristcs of effective learning is a great introduction to begin to understand how children learn effectively. Playing and exploring, active learning and thinking creatively and critically are all covered in this short film. Starting from birth, we see babies are born learners, and from their very first beginning they develop and learn with all their senses. Up to older children who, working with ideas, get used to planning their approaches to problem-solving and are increasingly able to monitor their efforts, to alter their plans when needed, to discard ideas that didn’t work, and to review how well things went and what they learned. This critical thinking becomes more conscious and under children’s control and is fostered through talking and thinking with others to develop ideas together. As children embed these characteristics of effective learning  they will be establishing a solid foundation from which to learn and flourish.
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Babies are born learners,
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and from their very first beginnings,
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they develop and learn with all their senses.
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Everything is new to them,
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from what objects feel like,
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in terms of shape, texture and weight,
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smell, color, temperature,
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to the space around them.
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How their bodies can move through space.
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What objects look like as they move.
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To recognizing and anticipating
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the central connections made with other people
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through touch, facial expressions, gestures, and voice.
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Yet within a few short weeks,
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they understand a great deal about the world around them
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and have begun to use complex skills
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that will enable them to think in ways
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that are uniquely human.
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To see patterns and make links,
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to wonder, to invent,
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to make plans, to solve problems,
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to weigh up alternatives and make judgments.
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As they progress through early childhood,
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they're also able to use abstract symbols
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to represent, rearrange and communicate their thinking,
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including using language.
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I said up.
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Okay, and then-
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They have not just passively
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absorbed knowledge and skills,
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but have exercised agency
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in driving their own learning.
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But after her H,
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O is like a circle.
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Oh, okay.
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This enormous power to learn rests
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in particular ways
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that babies and young children behave
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in response to their strong motivations.
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When they keep those same attitudes
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and habits as they grow older,
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they can become strong, motivated learners for life.
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The three characteristics of effective learning
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in the Early Years Foundation Stage
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describe how children learn.
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The more opportunities children have
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to use these ways of learning
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and feel the satisfaction of driving their own successes,
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and the more adults recognize and support these in action,
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the stronger they become.
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Playing and exploring is a key characteristic.
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It describes the active ways children
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reach out into the world,
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becoming engaged in experiences
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as they follow their curiosity about themselves,
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other people, what things are and how things work.
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Through playing and exploring,
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knowledge and competence grow,
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and children can discover their autonomy to make choices
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and direct their own activity.
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Sometimes play involves finding out and exploring.
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This might be seen in the interest a baby shows
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in an object, using their senses to explore.
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Playful open-ended activity without any particular goal
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allows children to follow their curiosity as it arises.
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At other times, a particular interest may lead to play
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involving repetition, as children explore ideas
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that currently fascinate them, perhaps in schema play.
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Imaginary play is a particularly powerful way
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that children develop deep understanding
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of their experiences.
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Keep it on mom.
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Huh?
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They are literally playing with what they know,
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using pretense to act out their understanding
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of situations and explore feelings.
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They are developing the ability to think abstractly,
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using an object to stand for something else,
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as they represent their experiences through pretend play.
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When they take on a role,
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and particularly when they play with others
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to act out experiences, they are learning to set rules
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for how to behave, and following them
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in order to keep the play going.
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These are mine.
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No, Ayam we have to share.
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Telling mommy.
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It's alright Tally, you can have some.
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Can I be the sister?
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Yeah.
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And I'll be the mommy.
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Now I'll get another sandwich and put there on top.
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Then put another sandwich on top.
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Play also supports children
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developing a positive attitude to new experiences.
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Being willing to 'have a go'.
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The freedom within play gives children experience
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of initiating their own activities,
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embracing challenges with a can-do attitude,
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and taking a risk with new experiences.
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Welcoming new challenges is a mark of a strong learner.
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Children are highly motivated to learn,
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and interlinked with playing and exploring
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is the characteristic of active learning,
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which describes the ways children are motivated
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to devote careful attention, energy and determination
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to their activities.
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When babies and young children
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are deeply involved and concentrating in play,
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interactions and activities,
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they use energy and fascination
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which support their ability to maintain focus
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as they pay attention to details
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and are not easily distracted.
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At these times, a high level of learning can take place.
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Active learning includes being resilient
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in the face of setbacks,
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keeping on trying when things don't go to plan.
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Just like babies don't give up
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when they can't walk at the first attempt,
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children are persistent learners
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who with the right support from adults
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will continue to believe that try harder, longer
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or in a different way will pay off in the end.
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One more time, put your hands down.
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Come on.
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Very good.
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And when they do have success in their efforts,
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active learners enjoy achieving what they set out to do.
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Their satisfaction comes from an internal feeling of mastery
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that says, "I can."
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It doesn't rely on other people to praise or reward them.
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This is a mark of intrinsic motivation.
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It comes from inside the person,
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and is the source of deep and meaningful success.
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I did it.
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The third characteristic of effective learning
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is thinking creatively and critically.
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This is where children see and think in possibilities,
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and become inventors, problem-solvers,
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theory-makers and testers, and reflective learners.
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Through their thinking,
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children pull together all the ideas sparked
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in their engaged and motivated experiences,
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and build them into learning.
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As they play or engage in playful planned activities,
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children have rich opportunities for having their own ideas.
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They can play with possibilities,
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thinking creatively about questions like,
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what if? Or what else?
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and use their imaginations to play out scenarios
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and find new ways to do things.
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They become effective learners
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through making links between ideas
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and noticing patterns and sequences in their experiences.
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Their developing thinking helps them use these links
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to build theories about how the world
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and the people in it work,
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and to make predictions and test ideas
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as they begin to understand cause and effect.
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Now you got sense of the other way.
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On the side it actually curves.
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That fills a really bowl's trick.
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On the other way round, it works really well though.
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It doesn't make so much of a faucet on that one, does it?
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It does make a meaningful fill actually.
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The teaspoon is really good, isn't it?
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Only this and therefore it didn't work that well.
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You're okay?
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So, I'm gonna use an angel I made and I'll pipe-
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In Working with ideas,
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children get used to planning their approaches
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to problem-solving.
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Here 'cause it's right in.
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What's gonna happen to the nail on this side?
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Maybe it won't be able to.
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Maybe, I'll do it differently.
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I don't know.
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I'm just worried about the nail sticking out.
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They are increasingly
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able to monitor their efforts,
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to alter their plans when needed,
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to discard ideas that didn't work,
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and to review how well things went and what they learned.
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Look at this. It's got the under layer on underneath.
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I'll nail on that.
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An extra layer on.
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I wonder where did it go.
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It's thicker, isn't?
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Okay.
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This critical thinking becomes more conscious
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and under children's control
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and is fostered through talking and thinking with others
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to develop ideas together.
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It still moves.
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Adding one more nail.
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As children embed these characteristics
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of effective learning,
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they will be establishing a solid foundation
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from which to learn and flourish.

Links

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