NEL: Discovery Of The World, Teach Children How to Explore the World

Sep 26, 2022 | Blog, News


What is the Discovery of the World (DOW) domain in the NEL approach to education?

Discovery of the World is a series of activities designed to help children explore and interact with all aspects of their environment, whether it is home, school, work or the wider world. Children are naturally curious and need opportunities to explore, experiment, manipulate, create, and learn about the world around them.


What role does the Discovery of the World (DOW) field in the NEL approach play in the development of preschool children?

Learning should be based on a sense of wonder and joy of discovery. Children should be given opportunities to explore the world around them and make close observations over time. Instead of expecting children to understand logical and scientific concepts, the emphasis is on allowing children to apply inquiry or process skills such as observation, prediction and drawing conclusions.

Children discover the world around them through:

  • Personal Experiences: Teachers can talk to families to build upon children’s prior knowledge and experience. Children bring their own ideas, interests, and beliefs based on their own experiences and cultural settings. They acquire knowledge of geography, history and science through first-hand experiences at home and in the pre-school.
  • Sensory Experiences: Children use their senses (touch, sight, smell, taste, taste and hearing) to explore the world around them. They explore by scanning their environment, touching and handling what they see, and listening to sounds and getting excited by unusual noises.
  • Planned Experiences: Teachers could design an environment that allows children to explore and discover relationships of change and growth, and of cause and effect. Children gain better understanding of the world around them when they find out why things happen and how things work by exploring and discovering relationships between objects and people.

All of these things will help them to develop their own skill:

  • Observing
  • Comparing and Classifying
  • Predicting
  • Experimenting
  • Recording and Communicating Discoveries

What does the Discovery of the World (DOW) field in preschoolers focus on?

DOW: Discovery of the World is a series of activities designed to help young children develop an active sense of wonder and discovery about the world around them. DOW focuses on allowing children to apply inquiry or processing skills such as observing, predicting, investigating, and drawing conclusions through experiential activity and study.

Discovery of the World (DOW) key learning goals in preschool children

Teachers and schools act as inspirations for children through questioning and self-modeling that gives children a sense of wonder. Preschool children’s learning goals in the field of DOW (Discovery of the World) are focused on three main goals listed below: 

  • Learning Goals 1: Show an interest in the world they live in.
  • Learning Goals 2: Find out why things happen and how things work through simple investigations.
  • Learning Goals 3: Develop a positive attitude towards the world around them.

Activities to explore the world in the field of DOW – Discovery of the Word in preschool children

Teachers can ask questions and recommend specific materials to stimulate children’s curiosity and interest in new discoveries. Preschool children’s learning will be enhanced when they have the opportunity to find the cause and reason for the things happening around them, according to the Department of Education.

Some activities to encourage children to explore the world:

  • Asking questions
  • Providing opportunities for simple experiments
  • Inviting resource persons to the classroom
  • Conducting field trips
  • Providing opportunities for activities in the outdoors
  • Using diagrams and graphic organisers
  • Using children’s literature and information book
  • Using print media, technology and interactive media

Modelling a sense of wonder and care for the environment


Children will develop a positive attitude towards learning and show an interest in the environment. Activities within the field of DOW (Discovery to the World) will create and provide opportunities for children to discover and apply new knowledge. Children will also learn how to use the necessary skills to understand the world in which they live.