18 months ago I engaged in a dialogue in an Australian group about whether or not children should stay at the lunch table when they had finished eating... there were a lot of people saying no , they should not, and also a lot saying yes, they should...
I am more of a "well it depends kind of person..."
this was my reply... "it really does depend... if the child is a fast eater and the others are all terribly slow eaters maybe yes
but if the child is avoiding eating to go d
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
I am a huge believer in the power of play.
I think it is one of the strongest languages children have to communicate with and make sense of the world around them... it is of course not the only language available to them to explore and interact with the world. Being inspired by Malaguzzi brings with it the reflections of a hundred languages... the many ways to learn, play, listen, interact and engage...
For me play-based learning is not a hands-off approach. It is hands on
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
(på svenska efter alla bilder) In October 2018 I visited two "I Ur och Skur" preschools on Lidingö, just outside Stockholm City.
I Ur och Skur means directly in hour and shower (UR is an old word for clock, or a word outside, or original as urskog means virgin forest (original untouched forest) - it can also be translated as the saying Rain or Shine - as in "come rain or shine" = no matter what. And that is the ethos of this approach... that the play and learning can be outs
(blå text är på svenska) I have always liked collaborative art... of working together...
I find that often the focus is on the individual, which is an essential part of working as an educator... to see each individual child and to enable them to reach their potential... but individuals live, work and play in groups, so they need to work out how to be themselves in not just one group, but in a variety of groups and social situations.
Together art gives children the opportuni
Just over a year ago I read the following statement about tidy and organised classrooms, and while I agree with some of it, I do not see the story of tidy v messy classrooms in the binary way... Every "clean" classroom I've ever experienced in my observations (and in my time teaching) is not the product of well-behaved students. It's the product of a naggy teacher. Children learn to equate the absence of clutter as "neat", "clean", and "organized". We tend to forget that orga
So how comfortable are you adding to the work of others...?
here is what some teachers wrote down at one of the workshops at Boulder Journey School in the summer of 2013... I appreciated having a blueprint or framework to build from/on the work inspired me it was an interesting concept to add to someone elses work/art - feeling like you were misrepresenting their idea it makes me feel uncomfortable adding to or modifying someone elses work. Collaborating makes me feel more
I often write that preschool/school is an institution - with its walls around - and how we need to be jumping up to see over the wall... to see what other possibilities there are rather than just protecting what is within.
I want to tear these walls down and create something new... something that some schools are already doing and are starting to to do.
How often is learning seen as something that happens within the walls in a specific way... there is a push for learning t
To help or not to help. This is a post I first wrote in 2013, but I still find it is relevant to share again...
We strive to support the children to be competent, to be confident in their abilities and to be problem solvers. So every now and again I feel quite frustrated (and do my utmost to hide that frustration) when children say "I can't..." without even attempting.
On Mondays we have "children's choice" - the children get to choose whether they are inside or outside d
Over the years I have worked in places that have had dysfunctional groups as well as groups that have played well together. I have often reflected over what makes a group work. How do we support a functional group? How do we give children the freedom to play?
I define a dysfunctional group as stressed, focussed on the problems of maybe one, two or more children disrupting play for whatever reasons so that play does not flow as usual.
It made me realise just how much struc
Before we can start with the children there is a need to start with ourselves... as educators. So this post will focus on that before moving onto the children and learning...
How do WE communicate?
To create a safe space...
to explore ideas...
Do we speak in different ways depending on who we are talking to - age, gender etc... and why do we do this? Is it appropriate?
When we communicate are we leaving enough space for others to communi
The following text is taken from the book "Boken om pedagogerna" under redaktion av Anna Forsell (2008) (5th edition) (Finns på svenska after bilderna)
(The Book of the Pedagogues, edited by Anna Forsell) Malaguzzi's three children. In his lectures Malaguzzi used to always take up his view of children and knowledge by presenting three simple images of the child and pitching them against each other (Loris Malaguzzi, lecture May 1992) 1. The sleeping and poor child - an empty
One of the questions I have often been asked is - how do teachers do observations... as most teachers talk about that the teaching is based on their observations of the children. Most of the preschools I visited with educators from Palestine we only visited for a short time, so that made it hard for us to observe the educators observing the children... and the preschools we visited for a longer period of time said that they were not doing any activities with the children yet
I was sent this image yesterday and it started a whole series of thoughts... I mean I get it... why people want to associate Greta Thunberg with Pippi Longstocking. Being Swedish, being a child, being female and daring to make a stand for what she believes in shows her strength. Pippi is the strongest girl in the world. But is this really a good thing? I mean Pippi did what she wanted, she did not want to learn to read and write - and she had to have her letters from her fath
Valentine's Day is one of those (many) traditions that I wonder why it is celebrated in early year's settings...
It is a tradition connected to romantic and sexual love - which I think is not the most suitable topic for the very young... But there is no getting away from it... there are hearts and the mention of love all over the place... I also reflect about all the activities that appear online just before Valentines day... a whole array of pink, and hearts and love...
I truly believe in the competence of children, but also understand the importance of being supportive so that we do not let them get out of their depth. For me the competence is about what they can do now. What they are capable of, and that they have experiences and knowledge than can contribute to expanding our own adult experiences and knowledge. There is mutual learning. I am very aware that as an adult I have accumulated more experiences, collected more knowledge and amas
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
There is a sense of great sorrow and frustration within me at the moment as I try to deal with what is happening in my family and what is happening around the world. On Friday (in August 2018) my son started medicating for his ADHD - he has a diagnosis of autism/ADHD and t it has been a constant uphill battle with the school system to try and create a learning environment that encourages him to learn... something that we have not yet achieved. He is constantly seen as a probl
(på svenska efter bilderna) Just before Christmas the news here in Sweden reported how children from the age of 6-7 were no longer interested in toys and were wanting other things... It made me reflect on how my own children suddenly stopped playing with toys shortly after starting school due to the peers they mixed with... it was like cold turkey. One day dolls, lego etc the next they were put in boxes as if they were ashamed of them... Their new friends at school were into