Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

2012 Edition
| Editors: Norbert M. Seel

Interest-Based Child Participation in Everyday Learning Activities

  • Carl J. Dunst
  • Melinda Raab
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_1779



The word interest when used by educators and psychologists refers to the characteristics of a person, object, or event that engages a person in sustained interaction with objects or others. Interests include a person’s likes, preferences, favorites, affinity toward, or attraction to a subject, topic, or activity. Displays of interests typically include enjoyment, pleasure, and satisfaction as well as emotional involvement in a task or activity.

More than 100 years ago, John Dewey in his book, The School and Society (1899), noted that children’s natural curiosities such as “interest in conversation, or communication; in inquiry or finding out things; in making things, or construction; and in artistic expression [are the] natural resources, the uninvested capital, upon which depends the active growth of the child” (pp. 47–48). Dewey’s...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Orelena Hawks Puckett InstituteAshevilleUSA