The impact of interest: an emergent model of interest development in the early years

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Author(s)
van Aswegen, Ellie Christoffina
Pendergast, Donna
Griffith University Author(s)
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2023
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Abstract

The literature defines curiosity and interest, but it is not clear how interest can be generated, where interest is positioned in the learning process, and what the impact of interest is on cognitive and emotional development. This paper reports on a three-year, iterative design-based research project involving three separate cohorts totalling 57 early learners in an early learning setting in Southern Queensland, Australia. The young learners aged 4–5 years, engaged in an enrichment program that extended over a two-week period for each of 15 topics. Insights were gained on how young children developed interested in a topic. An emergent model of authentic interest was developed, showing how interest is situated centrally in the learning process. It also shows how interest raised awareness, exploration, and new knowledge, creating a cycle of repeated engagement with the topic, thereby enhancing cognitive and emotional development.

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Early Child Development and Care

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193

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13-14

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© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.

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Education systems

Applied and developmental psychology

Social and personality psychology

Social Sciences

Education & Educational Research

Psychology, Developmental

Psychology

interest

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van Aswegen, EC; Pendergast, D, The impact of interest: an emergent model of interest development in the early years, Early Child Development and Care, 2023, 193 (13-14), pp. 1335-1349

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