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
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
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
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
Over the years I keep coming back to light as a tool for play, a tool for learning, a tool to explore and experiment... In a way light, for me, has become a symbol for learning... we become enlightened.. We can also use the word illuminate and elucidate in similar ways... As educators we strive to shed light on new things... experiences, knowledge, perspectives... This is part of my love for playing with light... it is much deeper than just the play and exploration, the scien
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
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
I often see posts and discussion about open-ended toys and materials... loose-parts
and sometimes wonder how "open-ended" is being interpreted... as for some it seems to be about taking away materials like cars, play food etc... which is more extreme than how I interpret it... but how extreme can we go? What are open-ended toys... or open-ended play?
I thought I would take some time to explore these ideas...
I also see, repeatedly, rather intense discussion about plastic
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 really love all resources that allow us to see the diversity of life and nature - and so this post is sharing a poster I have come across showing a variety of ladybirds... or ladybugs as some call them.
As a child I had inherited my mother's fear of insects... by observing her behaviour and mirroring it... I made the conscious decision as a mother to hide my fear of insects from my children so that they could develop their own relationship with creepy crawlies... I am ha
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
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
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.
Often stories talk about the big, bad wolf... there is Red Riding Hood and the Three Little pigs to get you started... this has meant that in dialogues about animals wolves are always seen as bad. This fascinated me that the children would see things as wholly bad and wholly good - and when exploring friendship, relationships, empathy and emotions - this concept of good and bad can be really interesting.
The thing is wolves are really expressive, so they are a great example
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
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