What are Provocations?

Is provocations the new BUZZ word?

Provocations has been spreading like wild fire over the past year

Do you know what it means?


The term originated from the Reggio approach.


To put into the most simplest of terms provocations means provoking learning.

Enticing children to play and inviting them to be curious, creative and be able to think critically in their learning. All part of Characteristics of Effective learning which we need to ensure we know about within our children’s day and learning

 You may think you do this everyday with making your setting inviting and enabling children to share their interests, however these resources need to open ended so children can decide what they want to do, how they want to do it and when they want to.

Are we too adult led?

As an adult we are the facilitator of children’s learning. We need to make the environment has the resources for children to critically think for themselves. Their brain is like a muscle and it will waste away without use.

Wallas (1926) suggests in The Art of Thought we have 4 processes

·       Preparation

·       Simmering/ incubation

·       Illumination

·       Verification

Preparation – when we are being creative we investigate all areas

Simmering/ incubation – creativity can go two ways..The positive and the negative and it’s up to the artist to find the solutions. Again using our brains

Illumination – after the above two eventually the A-ha or Eureka moment.

Verification – is in the creating the creation!.

Linking to provocations we should be making sure our activities are interesting and original to the child. They need to find the direction they want to go in to make it their original learning.  That’s what it’s all about …simple

Try it… Visit your local scrap store and place the resources around your setting. Sit back and watch what happens… think about what Wallas suggests…. The art is then to provoke communication and language to get children to think for themselves!