Adult Relationships and Role in Childhood Learning

Adults play an important role in infant and toddler’s ability to learn. Young children often use adult behaviour in a given situation as a reference point for understanding the climate of the environment. They look to parents, aunts, uncles, teachers, and babysitters to know whether or not they are in a safe and comfortable place. Calm and sympathetic adult behaviour does best to provide infants with the feeling that their environment is okay, and this feeling stimulates learning.


The goal for educators is to provide this kind of environment for children at all times. They strive to set up environments to provoke curiosity and give opportunities to learn without being over stimulating and stressful. They try to encourage questions and promote good decisions and problem solving. They are attentive to not only what a child is doing but also what a child is trying to learn, and how they are trying to learn it.


When adults keep all these factors in mind when interacting with infants and toddlers, they create an environment rich in educational opportunity and support.


Source: Petersen, Sandra H., and Donna S. Wittmer. Infant and Toddler Curriculum, 2nd Edition. Pearson Learning Solutions, 2012. VitalBook file.


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