reFLeCtion, interPretation, and aPPLiCation standard 143
involves children in expressing what they have learned and exploring it
further. They pretend, engage in role play, and represent their growing under-
standing through models, structures, stories, illustrations, music, and move-
ment. These multiple expressive languages help children process and interpret
experience. Application allows children to take these new interpretations and
use what they have learned in a new context, generally at a more complex level
than before. Reflection, interpretation, and application are deeply interrelated
and need to be viewed in this light. They are the means by which children
construct a conceptual framework for approaching experience, one that over
time becomes increasingly sophisticated, refined, detailed, and precise.
What are the observable behaviors or indicators that demonstrate children
engaging with the reflection, interpretation, and application standard?
In reviewing indicators and observable behaviors that relate to the reflection,
interpretation, and application standard, two vital elements are exposed. The
first is the essential role of play in children’s learning and processing. The
second is time. Children need to feel unhurried as they think and sort things
out. It takes time to pursue the process involved in remembering past events,
thinking about what they mean, and sifting through the content of one’s
experience to apply parts of it to what comes next. Such a process is all of a
piece and needs adequate time and space to unfold. The observable behaviors
emphasize wondering and exploring, and explicitly do not mention getting
the right answer or producing the right product as the goal or indicator that
the standard is being met. This is because this standard is uniformly about the
importance of process and the child’s ability to engage in it as an approach to
We have synthesized from the observable behaviors articulated in the vari-
ous state standards three representative indicators of reflection, interpretation,
and application for three- to five-year-olds:
1. The child relates past experience to new situations, generating ideas,
increasing understanding, and making predictions.
2. The child speculates and demonstrates a beginning understanding of moti-
vations and intentions, and what others are thinking.
3. The child uses play, representation, and discussion to process information
and apply ideas.
LensFinal.indd 143 9/16/10 10:47:54 AM