How Does Learning Happen?

Play based Learning

Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years

It has long been known that there is a strong link between play and learning. Children are full of natural curiosity and they explore this curiosity through play. When kids are playing, it’s the perfect time to learn.

In the Ontario Early Years Centres, in Licensed Early Learning and Childcare Centres and in new full-day kindergarten program, teachers and early childhood educators use the How Does Learning Happen? document as a professional resource guide learning through relationships.  The document supports pedagogy and program development in the early years.  Pedagogy is “the understanding of how learning takes place and the philosophy and practice that support that understanding of learning” – Early Learning for Every Child Today: A Framework for Ontario Early Childhood Settings (Ministry of Education 2007).   The document supports the child being in the centre with the family, educator and environment all supporting the child’s development and learning.

The Four Foundations of How
Does Learning Happen?

  • Belonging – this focuses on the importance of relationships for children, being valued as well as making contributions as
    part of a group, community and the world.
  • Well-being – this addresses the importance mental health and wellness as well as physical well-being including
    self-regulation, self-care and a sense of self.
  • Engagement – children are fully engaged when they have the opportunity to explore the world around them with natural
    curiosity. Children develop problem solving and creative thinking skills to name a few through inquiry play based learning.
  • Expression – children learn how to listen and how to be heard through their bodies, words and use of materials. In language
    rich environments, children develop communication skills which are the foundation for literacy.

“A focus on these foundations throughout all aspects of the early years programs ensures optimal learning and healthy development”. – How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years (Ministry of Education 2014)

Children are competent, capable of complex thinking, curious and rich in potential – How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years (Ministry of Education 2014).

Our organization takes pride in our high quality early childhood programs. We know children will have immediate and long-term success along their lifelong learning journey when they have experiences in high-quality programs in their early years.

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