Learning Outcome Series – Outcome 4

outcome 4

In my experience Learning Outcome 4 is the favourite among educators because if children are asking questions or playing with activities or participating in group time, they are learning, so assign it to an outcome 4. Hopefully having a greater understanding of the earlier outcomes from this series has allowed you to see how you can use different outcomes. As with learning outcome 1, this outcome moves through stages of development within the context of learning.

Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity.
Children aren’t just born learners, it needs to be nurtured and supported in them by the adults around them. Educators are very important in helping children develop these skills, often through the setting up of the environment.

  • Dispositions for learning: These are the skills that allow learning to happen. Children need to have a positive attitude towards trying new things if they are going to learn new things.
  • Curiosity: Children ask questions, use their senses to explore their environment
  • Cooperation: Children learn best when sharing knowledge with others, whether it be peers, older children or adults, so seeking support is important.
  • Confidence: Without the confidence to try new things, a fear of failure would stop children learning anything new.
  • Creativity: Through being creative with their ideas children start to learn the properties of objects. Often this is “messy” to adults, but to children it is creativity.
  • Commitment: This is seen when children stick with a task, no matter how long it takes or how difficult it is. Whether learning to walk, putting on socks, or doing a puzzle.
  • Enthusiasm: This is that positive approach to learning. Often children don’t know they are learning because they are having so much fun. Make things a game, or play based, and children will flock to it.
  • Persistence: As mentioned in some of the previous outcomes, children need time to repeat tasks and that allows them to learn new things each time and in the end the persistence pays off.
  • Imagination: Children are never going to be able to access a full range of scenarios that allows them to learn new skills of cement their understandings of concepts, but through imagination they can create these opportunities in play, e.g. a building site or a hospital.
  • Reflexivity: This refers to children moving from a passive role in their environment to a more active role where they form ideas and view points based on the information available to them.


Children develop a range of skills and processes such as problem solving, inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating.
Now children have dispositions for learning, they will start to develop skills that allow them to learn concrete, tangible facts and concepts. Educators can support this through providing opportunities, responding to questions, or asking lots of questions. Remember when a child asks a question they don’t always need it to be “Googled”, as this information is often not age appropriate, and will cause more confusion than was already there. If you don’t know the answer, ask they child what they think and work it out together.

  • Skills: This refers to actual concrete learning that children can apply to help them with future tasks.
  • Processes: This refers to concepts and ideas that children can work through to gain knowledge or information.
  • Problem solving: Where children learn to tackle a problem and find solutions or ways around it.
  • Inquiry: Where children ask questions, whether to others or to themselves, showing a willingness to find answers or solutions.
  • Experimentation: Where children try things to see what the result is. If a child is doing something that may seem dangerous or messy or destructive, ask them what they are doing and more often than not they are conducting a science experiment “I wanted to see what would happen if I dropped paint on the floor from up high”.
  • Hypothesising: This is another opportunity for children to become scientists but without the mess by asking them to think about what might happen. This is something that very young children cannot do as they need to develop some more understandings of their world before they can use this knowledge to guess what might happen.
  • Researching: This is where children repeat tasks, noticing any difference in the results if they change what they do. Building block towers is a good example, they get more complex as children do more research on the properties of the blocks.
  • Investigating: This is where children use all of the above skills to explore and gain knowledge about their world and themselves. Often educators are needed to support this and it might turn into a project over a number of days/weeks.


Children transfer and adapt what they have learned from one context to another.
This one really only makes sense if explained as a whole. Breaking it down does not help to explain the outcome, so that it was I am going to do.

  • Transfer and adapt what they have learned from one context to another: Once children have learnt skills and processes for learning, and they have good dispositions for learning, they can start to test out these in different situations. For example if a child has worked out through and activity that magnets stick to each other, they then may transfer this knowledge to see what else magnets stick to, and adapt their understanding of magnets that they not only stick to other magnets, but also metal, as they move around the room. A child might also transfer their knowledge of counting and numbers to exploring money and looking and a shop scenario.


Children resource their own learning through connecting with people, place, technologies and natural and processed materials.
Quite often I have seen this outcome used for when children interact with computers because it mentions technologies, but it is important to take a broader view of this outcome and look at the many options it provides.

  • Resource their own learning: This refers to children seeking more information themselves, rather than having it provided to them. It is an important step in development as children take ownership over their learning.
  • Connecting with: This refers to the child actively seeking out any of the different options to help them learn more.
  • People: This could be a more knowledgeable peer, an older child, an adult, a professional in their place of work (e.g. dentist/zookeeper etc)
  • Place: By choosing to connect to a place, children start to learn more about it as they take in information more. This could be their local community, their school etc.
  • Technologies: This refers to any form of technology that allows children to learn independently. It could be a dvd, a digital camera, a tablet, and app, a phone.
  • Natural and processed materials: Children are able to use a wide variety of materials provided to them to help challenge their learning and understanding through experimenting with them. It is important then to provide children access to a wide variety of natural and processed materials they are free to explore.


Thanks for reading my post and I hope you are enjoying this series.

Hopefully this has been helpful and don’t forget if you would like a copy of these please go to my website and they are on the shop page. The others will be uploaded as the blog posts come out. If you have enjoyed the learning outcomes and would like to explore practices and principles, you can find help sheets of these in my store, or get these free if you sign up for the webinar “moving on from the learning outcomes”.

If you would like any further information, or training for your service on any topic, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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