The study on “Nurturing Critical and Creative Thinkers through Inquiry-Based Teaching and Learning (IBTL) in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)” is broadly anchored on the general themes of ECCE and is in line with promoting 21st century skills which is part of SEAMEO INNOTECH’s programmatic priorities under its 8th Five-Year Development Plan 2011-2016 and 9th Five-Year Development Plan 2016-2021. The study also contributes to SEAMEO’s seven priority areas for Southeast Asian Education Agenda 2015-2035 and the new Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 4) on education (2016-2030).
Covering six SEAMEO Member Countries, the study documented various IBTL practices that nurture the critical and creative thinking of pre-school and early grade learners, not just as a pedagogical approach, but also as an approach to thinking. Developing the discipline of inquiry-based learning as early as age 3 to 8 facilitates the development of 21st century skills and prepares the child for further schooling.
Children learn most effectively through activities that are prompted by their curiosity and needs. It is inherent in their age to ask and as such, teachers should take advantage of this learning mode by asking questions that challenge their thinking and/or imagination, and providing feedback that guide their learning. Inquiry-based teaching and learning as an approach places students’ questions, ideas, and observations as essential elements of the learning experience.
This photo essay is one of the several knowledge resources produced from the IBTL study. The Center hopes that through the photographs featured in this publication, Ministries of Education and ECCE institutions will gather ideas on how different IBTL practices can be adopted to help stimulate children’s critical and creative thinking skills.