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Joyful Learning

Educators, developmental psychologists, and philosophers all describe a process that contemporary educators refer to as joyful learning. Socrates in his “questioning method,” Piaget’s “assimilation and accommodation,” Montessori’s reference to “normalization,” Dewey’s emphasis on experiential learning, and Csikszentmihalyi’s description of “flow” all give us insight into the phenomenon of joyful learning. For young children, joyful learning is facilitated by those teaching from a perspective of constructivism—believing that “children construct knowledge through interaction between their own ideas and experiences in the social and physical world” (Chaille, 2008, p. 5). Joyful learning experiences support the child’s growth both socially and cognitively.

According to Ward and Dahlmeier, joyful learning is a process that requires effort and includes making choices and making connections. Montessori refers to this effort resulting in joy ...

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