Just over three years ago I was invited to Toronto, Canada to participate in the Rhythm of Learning "The Rhythm of Learning in Nature is an opportunity offered by the York Region Nature Collaborative for like-minded educators to come together in place to experience nature, outdoor play, Reggio-inspiration and forest school practices. The week follows an emergent curriculum framework, as we will invite both facilitators and participants to decide the direction of the work and
Today or tomorrow I will get my answer as to whether or not I have been approved to be a Swedish citizen. It has got me thinking about belonging. This is a word that came up often during my trip to Australia... not just about creating spaces that belong to the children, but also about indigenous people and their right to belong - to the land that was taken from them and also to belong to society as equals where their culture is valued and not "othered" or only found in museum
I feel that often as educators we are often looking into the future too much... planning the direction, needing to know where we are going, rather than focussing on where we are now...
Sure, as educators we do need to know where we are going, so that we can prepare ourselves for the needs of the children... its like looking for the best route, or the weather forecast to be able to make the best decisions about what clothes to wear and what equipment is need to deal with the
In the course of the last two months I have found myself participating in deep and interesting dialogues about the phenomenon - "provocations"
it is a word often used in a Reggio Emilia context... and yet there seems to be a lot of uncertainty about where the idea of provocation really comes from, is it even something used in the Reggio Emilia Approach, and how is it being interpreted...? (see the link below for more discussion about that) And, in a way, this dialogue has g
Over on my Instagram I use the hashtags #slowdown and #lookclosely often... usually including photos of bugs and flowers, raindrops or something else... It is not just about taking close-ups of nature... but a means to be divergent.. not to follow the speed of society, not to just stay within the status quo, to see things as we always see them... but to pause, to look around, to take notice and discover new possibilities and new perspectives. This is the same for the "thinkin
Aesthetics Aesthetics is the philosophical study of beauty and taste. The term stems from the Greek word “aisthetikos,” meaning “of sense perception,” and is related to the study of sensory values. In design, aesthetics refers to the visual attractiveness of a product. Studies have proven that creating good aesthetics in a product leads to better usability and user experience. In this sense it is the preschool, the third teacher, the materials, that are the product... I total
Those of you who have followed me for many years will know that I have been working with children using philosophy with children... not a specific approach such as P4C (philosophy 4 children) or Socratic Dialogue, but something that I have created myself together with my various colleagues over the years. Mostly because none of these techniques I felt, as a whole, could meet the specific needs of the children I was working with... in part due to the fact most is written about
Over the years I found that swing from having great faith in educators to suddenly feeling overwhelmed and that we are never going to achieve true democratic classrooms/learning where there is participation and respect and real learning for all. And in this I mean not just in early education but throughout school. Really its not the educators I have issue with... I think 98% strive to be the best they can for the students/children they work with - there are that 2% (maybe mor
Sometimes something catches your eye and you just have to read it... my two 14 year old daughters love Sherlock Holmes, so when I saw the post by Brain Pickings on Konnikova: Mastermind: How to think like Sherlock Holmes, I just had to give it a read. ... and I am glad I did... as I started seeing parallels to my work as a preschool teacher... in that observations and how we observe and analyse what we have seen can allow us to deduce what is the best continued path for the c
being visibly invisible
This is something I strive to be...
The idea is that I want to be visible in the sense that the children know I am always there for them, that they can rely on me, that they feel safe to go off and explore, that we have mutual trust and respect and that I am a part of the democratic community of learning...
but I want to be invisible too... that I do not interfere with the children's learning, that they have the power to solve their own problems a
Suzanne: Getting the opportunity to listen to you talk at the Play on Early Childhood Conference in Athens in mid April was a magical moment for me... it was like listening to someone who spoke the same language as myself. The magic door. This border between adulthood and childhood, between reality and imagination, between chronos and aeon. It reminded me so clearly of why I started the International Fairy Tea Party in 2013 - not just a celebration of play and imagination but
This is one of those posts that actually I was kind of saving for my book, but due to the response I have received after my keynote in Athens where I briefly mentioned how I see time connected to play and as a part of Original Learning, I feel there is reason to share my thinking earlier... Four or five years ago I was chatting with my children and up popped that phrase that we adults like to use... "you need to think outside of the box" - my daughter replied by saying that h
Listen with your ears, eyes, heart and mind. This is how I start a philosophy session with my preschoolers. A simple reminder that there is not one way to listen... not even with listening is there a single story. Many of the activities I did with the children was to give the children time and opportunity to practice their listening skills... to listen with their ears, to listen with their eyes, to listen with their hearts and to listen with their minds. I want to live in a w
I have, over the years, frequently seen discussions around whether or not young children should be engaging in circle time...
and really this is one of those things that cannot be a "to do or not to do", as, with most things in life, it is not about what we are doing, but why we are doing what we are doing. There is not just one way to do "circle time" and yet most dialogues about the subject suppose that this meeting of children is about a teacher talking and the children
Every once in a while I see posts about the benefits of hugs (touch) and babies... and just how it impacts the brain and development of the child.
Often these posts are shared in groups/pages about early childhood education, and most often as a reaction to the fact that some settings are writing no-hug policies. While I think physical contact is incredibly important to the well-being and development of each child, I talked about this several times in Athens, both in my keyn
The first chapter of this communication story was about how we, as educators, communicate - this post will focus on how the room communicates... the learning environment... the third teacher. as an educator inspired by the pedagogy in the preschools of Reggio Emilia, I reflect a great deal about my colleague, the third teacher, and over the years I have written quite a lot of blogposts on the topic, as well as sharing images from settings I have visited...
What I have alwa
There have been several metaphors that I have been coming back to time and time again during my visit in the Middle East and that is the idea of joining dots...
Making connections - not just human connection, but also connecting ideas, connecting knowledge, connecting experience, connecting culture, history etc... and the inter-connections.
Learning is like a giant dot to dot... I loved them as a child... following the sequence of numbers to discover the image at the end.
Tomorrow I will take a small group of children to meet Greta Thunberg and the others protesting outside the government building here in Stockholm, my daughter being one of those others. The teenagers are on a school-strike as a way of getting their opinion across to politicians about the climate situation and the need to address it seriously... The 3-5 year olds that I will be taking are going to go there to find out why they are standing there and also to see that children d
This post was first written while I was in Jenin, Palestine, holding play workshops. What I did not realise then when I wrote it was that it would inspire a whole series of posts labelled "The story of.." based on the fact that when we tell our stories we need to be aware that they are our own perspective... and to be a part of a sustainable world where social sustainability is an important part of that, we need to consider the other stories... that we see the same event in d
The more I read and learn about neuro-diversity the more overwhelming it starts to feel.
There are articles about it, and reactions to the articles... but what I feel the most is that there is an "us and them" approach of which I feel absolutely no connection to whatsoever... I simply don't get it... and that can be part of my neuro-diversity in the sense that all these "us and them" definitions have been strange for me to truly comprehend... class, gender, race etc etc bec