Questioning-exploration-experience" learning in preschool: A social construction of knowledge

Sing Pui Tikky TO-CHAN, Mei Lin CHENG

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Knowledge on young children’s cognitive changes during the social interaction in learning activities is still very limited. To enhance understanding on this, this study aims to explore children’s construction of knowledge in relation to social interaction in the process of learning. From the Vygotskian perspective, cognition is originated from social interaction situating in the activity. Higher mental function develops as a result of internalizing the social processes. Based on the premise, two questions are addressed in this paper: 1. What does socially shared cognition look like in young children’s learning? 2. What adaptive behaviours are taken place in young children during social interaction? This study adopts a natural orientation in collecting data. A group of three-year-old children are observed and videotaped during their learning activities. Facilitating by the teacher, the children are engaged in a learning process with an emergent design characterized by “Questioning”, “Exploration” and “Experience”. The object of learning is derived from children’s real life experiences. Current findings reveal that young children share common goals in learning, and display behaviours reflecting conceptual changes regarding the object of learning. It is evident that children grow into the reconstruction of concepts stemming from the social interaction. It is concluded that children’s adaptive behaviours are embedded in the social interaction and contribute to the co-construction of knowledge when situated in a specific sociocultural context relevant to children’s experience. This study shed light for further investigation into the interplay of social and cognitive aspects of children’s development in a joint process of construction of knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2004


Chan, S. P., & Cheng, M. L. (2004, July). "Questioning-exploration-experience" learning in preschool: A social construction of knowledge. Paper presented at the International Council on Education for Teaching (ICET) World Assembly 2004: Teachers as learners: Building communities for professional development, Hong Kong, China.


  • Early Childhood Education
  • Theory and Practice of Teaching and Learning


Dive into the research topics of 'Questioning-exploration-experience" learning in preschool: A social construction of knowledge'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.