Written by Heather Knight, Early Childhood Principal at SCIS Hongqiao
"It must not be forgotten that the basic law of children's creativity is that its value lies not in its results, not in the product of creation, but in the process itself. It is not important what children create, but that they do create, that they exercise and implement their creative imagination." - Lev Vygotsky
In the early years of a child's life, every experience becomes an opportunity for growth and learning. While the result often receives the most attention, it is the process of exploration, discovery, and problem-solving that truly lays the foundation for future success. Understanding and embracing the importance of process in early years can profoundly impact a child's development and set them on a path towards lifelong learning.
From the moment children are born, they possess an innate sense of curiosity about the world around them. By emphasizing the process rather than solely focusing on outcomes, parents and educators can encourage children to explore, inquire, and experiment. This curiosity-driven approach allows children to develop critical thinking skills, creativity, and a love of learning.
The process of learning does not always follow a linear path but rather involves setbacks, failures, and challenges. By helping children understand that setbacks are a normal part of learning, we can teach them resilience and perseverance. Instead of rushing to fix problems for them, allow children to face and overcome obstacles independently. This builds their self-management skills, determination, and confidence.
Focusing on the process rather than the product nurtures children's creativity. When children are given the freedom to explore and experiment, they develop the ability to generate unique ideas, solve problems, and adapt to new situations. Engage children in activities that promote imaginative play, art, music, writing, and storytelling. Encourage them to express their ideas and think critically, taking risks along the way.
The process of learning involves collaboration, communication, and social interaction. Engaging children in group activities and projects fosters their social and communication skills as they learn to listen to others, share ideas, negotiate, and work together towards a common goal. These early experiences provide the foundation for healthy relationships, empathy, and effective communication skills.
In the early years, the process of learning is far more important than the final product. By embracing the importance of process over product, adults provide an environment that supports curiosity, resilience, creativity, and social development. Encouraging children to explore, make mistakes, and learn from them allows them to develop crucial skills and mindsets that will serve them throughout their lives. So, let’s celebrate the process and nurture the joy of learning, for it is through this process that they will blossom into lifelong learners and confident individuals.
SCIS. Building the Foundations.