Wired to Inquire? Poster at the ACER conference on ‘How the brain learns’

Christina Surmei and I are presenting a poster called ‘Wire to Inquire’ at the Australian Council of Educational Research. See the poster here: Wired to Inquire – FINAL

If you will be in Melbourne 4-6th August, come and talk to us about being, neurologically, wired to inquire.


Our abstract is:

Early childhood is the time when the development that happened in utero and the world surrounding the child meet to create new knowledge and understandings through personal self-initiated inquiry (Willison, 2013). Such spontaneous inquiry can be considered an innate occurrence, connecting biological function, the physical world and the socially constructed world (Zeanah, 1996). Educators document how young children use their constructed play environments to inquire and question their world, providing data that is rich in detail about a child’s Proximodistal and Cephalocaudal development (Berk, 2010). An example of this is an 11 month old infant who, although preverbal, points to objects all around the play environment to provoke a statement from their carer about the name of each object. This answers the young child’s personal self-initiated inquiry, through ‘Cause and Effect’, just like the game, ‘Peek a Boo’ (Berk 2010). This poster will consider multiple factors that equip young children to be, neurologically, wired to inquire.

Berk, L.E. (2010). Infants, children and adolescents, 7th edition. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Willison, J. (2013). Inquiring Ape? Higher Education Research and Development 32 (5) pp. 861-865. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07294360.2013.806043#.Ue-wJm1HAhU

Zeanah, H. (1996). Beyond Insecurity: A Reconceptualization of Attachment Disorders of Infancy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 64 (1) pp. 42-52.

Author: johnwillison

Senior Leturer, Discipline of Higher Education, School of Education, University of Adelaide.

2 thoughts on “Wired to Inquire? Poster at the ACER conference on ‘How the brain learns’”

  1. Hi All,
    I’m very excited to be presenting at the ACER conference this month with John.

    This poster represents a multifaceted, multidimensional look into the area of ‘Inquiry’.

    Please examine this poster and see if you can recall an example/s from your own teaching experiences of children / adults exhibiting ‘Inquiry’.

    As you can see my example is the focus of infants and this just corroborates that ‘Inquiry’ can be non-verbal.

    Try and look beyond the tangible classroom experiences and focus on the concrete ones, being the conversations / observations you encounter.

    Kindest regards,
    Christina Surmei

    1. Teaming up with Christina on this conference is very exciting for 2 big reasons. The first is Christina’s interest in the connections with learning and neuroscience, which is an area that RSD is moving into- thus ‘Wired to inquire?’. The second reason is that up till now RSD use has been almost exclusively in Universities, but this is a great opportunity to explore its use in Early Childhood Education- which was part of the original design intention (Christina- have you seen the Reskidev blog ’11, 12 Dig and Delve: RSD for Early Childhood’ from April?).

      BTW all Registrations are still open for the conference: http://www.acerinstitute.edu.au/research-conference

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