If I can ask my own questions, I will explore the world and discover my voice Event as iCalendar

19 October 2017

4:30 - 5:30pm

Host: ECE Seminar Series

Maria Birbili
Maria Birbili

About the seminar

Teachers’ questions in the classroom have been the focus of many studies around the world. We now know that their quality influences not only children’s learning but also children’s disposition towards learning. With the emergence of socio-cultural approaches to learning our interest in classroom questioning expanded to include children’s own questions. Understanding learning as a social process opened up new ways of thinking about language and drew our attention to the importance of connecting the curriculum to children’s wonderings about the world. However, research evidence suggests that the frequency and the quality of children’s questions drop as soon as they begin in an early childhood setting. Why do children ask fewer questions in what the literature describes as “seeming ideal conditions for questioning”, an environment which is full of stimulation and other inquisitive children? In this presentation, I will discuss how we can keep young children’s curiosity alive and help them reflect on their observations, investigations and understandings until they discover new questions. I will use examples from research in the Greek context to also discuss the idea that posing questions is not a culturally
neutral activity.

About the presenter

Maria Birbili began her professional journey as an early childhood educator in Greece. Her graduate studies in the USA and England led her to a career in academia, and she is now teaching as an Assistant Professor in the School of Early Childhood Education, at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. She has extensive experience in teacher professional learning focusing on the role of questioning, concept-based teaching, and formative assessment in early childhood education. She is the author of a book on the importance and the role of questions in early childhood education, and has published articles related to her interests in both research and practitioner oriented journals. Her current research focuses on children’s interests and how they are incorporated into the curriculum and classroom learning experiences.