What is How Does Learning Happen?

How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years is a resource for those working in child care and child and family programs. 

It is a pedagogy (the understanding of how learning takes place and the philosophy and practice that support that understanding of learning) that is designed to support curriculum/program development in early years programs.  

How Does Learning Happen is based on four foundations:

  • Belonging:   feeling valued and connected  to others while making contributions as part of a group, a community, the natural world.
  • Well-being:  focuses on the importance of physical and mental health and wellness.
  • Engagement:  the ability to be focused and involved.    Children are able to explore and be engaged in the world around them.  This type of play helps develop problem solving skills and creative thinking.
  • Expression:    is communication where children can be heard and able to listen.  Language-rich environments help children develop communication skills and are the foundation for literacy.

 The following videos may help you to further understand the four foundations of How Does Learning Happen? 

Positive Relationships and Brain Development  with Dr. Jean Clinton

Brain Development in the Early Years – Connecting with Children vs. Directing their Behavior with Dr. Jean Clinton

Brain Development in the Early Years – Viewing Children as Capable and Competent with Dr. Jean Clinton

Brain Development in the Early Years – Impact of our View of the Child with Dr. Jean Clinton

Parent Engagement – Parents as Active Participants in Early Years Programs with Karyn Callaghan

Inclusive Early Years Programs – Establishing an Environment that Works for All Children with Donna Lero & Kathy Brophy

Self Regulation – What is it?  Dr. Stuart Shanker

Self Regulation – Helping Young Children Cope with Stress with Dr. Stuart Shanker

Self Regulation – Impacts of Stress on Young Children with Dr. Stuart Shanker

Self Regulation – Creating Supportive Environments for Young Children with Dr. Stuart Shanker

Early Years Learning Environments – Supporting Children’s Curiosity and Ongoing Investigation with Karyn Callaghan

How Does Learning Happen? Guides

The following guides introduce you to key ideas in How Does Learning Happen?  There is a guide for educators, for home child care providers and for leaders in an early years setting. These guides provide information and practical examples to help you think about, and use, How Does Learning Happen? in your early years programs. 

How Does Learning Happen? guides: 

Ontario’s Renewed Early Years and Child Care Policy Framework (2017) identifies seven key priority areas for action, including:

  • Increasing access to early years and child care programs and services
  • Ensuring a more affordable early years and child care system
  • Establishing an early years workforce strategy
  • Determining a provincial definition of quality in the early years
  • Developing an approach to promoting inclusion in early years and child care settings
  • Creating an outcomes and measurement strategy
  • Increasing public awareness of Ontario’s early years and child care system

The Renewed Early Years and Child Care Framework lays out a plan for the next five years. This plan expects to double the current capacity of licensed child care for children aged 0-4 in the province of Ontario.   This expansion will focus on the public and not-for-profit sectors by steadily increasing the number of children accessing high-quality child care.   To learn more about this five year plan click here.