The surprise when we paused and looked at our shadows…
Child: woah! You are taller than me…!!! I am not sure who was the most surprised the child or myself… after all we had been holding hands for ten minutes as we walked back from the park to the preschool when I casually mentioned our shadows on the wall.
But I will take it as a compliment - that we walked as equals.
I have often experienced this over the years - being surprised by someone’s age or height (in all directions
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
While in Melbourne I was fortunate enough to be able to visit ArtPlay and sit in one of their "dreaming" sessions. A dreaming session is when an artist is testing out ideas with children to see how the idea needs to be refined. This means the interactive art sessions at ArtPlay are very much about the voice of the child, about ensuring the children are influencing the process and also the end product. Obang is the name of the dreaming performative installation I observed and
(This post can be read in English here) Under de senaste två månaderna har jag deltagit i djupa och intressanta dialoger om fenomenet - "provokationer" det är ett ord som ofta används i ett Reggio Emilia-sammanhang (särskilt på engelska, men jag hör den allt oftare på svenska också)... och ändå verkar det finnas mycket osäkerhet om var idén om provokation egentligen kommer ifrån, är det till och med något som används i Reggio Emilia-förhållningssätt, och hur är det tolkad...?
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
(på svenska efter bilderna) In the last few years I have been shaping and refining my idea of Original Learning... It is my reaction to this constant separation of play and learning... which comes with an ever increasing need to define precisely what play is and what learning is... especially the learning of the academic kind that happens in schools. For me this relations of play and learning is much more complicated and much less binary than is being constantly discussed in
(på svenska efter bilderna) A long time ago I was told that I would never be able to have children... after failed IVFs and years of trying, my husband and I decided enough was enough and that we would stop the stress of trying and think about adopting. in order to close one part of our lives together and start another we decided on a trip to Italy... Starting in Naples, train to Florence and then ending in Rome... John could meet his sleep researcher colleagues there, I coul
Since my visit to Anji, China in May I have been sharing posts containing images of the settings for 3-6 year old children. These posts have been met with excitement and also apprehension... this idea that it feels impossible... that level of risk, that kind of play would never work here, people are too afraid.
I want to point out that this is very much the case in China too. The kindergartens in Anji that are using the AnjiPlay pedagogy are very divergent from the norm of
This post can be read in English... here.... Över på min Instagram använder jag hashtag #slowdown och #lookclosely ofta ... vanligtvis med bilder av insekter och blommor, regndroppar eller något annat ... Det handlar inte bara om att ta närbilder av naturen ... utan ett sätt att avvika ... att inte följa samhällets hastighet, inte bara förbli inom status quo, att se saker som vi alltid ser dem ... utan att pausa, titta runt, att lägga märke till och upptäcka nya möjligheter o
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
(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
While I was in Anji, China it was very obvious that the ladder was a symbol of play and freedom... a bamboo ladder is also the actual logo for AnjiPlay... When you see them in action you can also see why this is the case. The children are free to use and play with them in a myriad of ways. The fact that there are different lengths of ladders and were offered in different materials (pine or bamboo) is also testament to this... Ms Cheng (who is the founder of AnjiPlay) wanted n
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
I have been spending the afternoon thinking about play and about childhood... and thinking about myself as a child. When it struck me, that I have never thought of myself as a child when I was a child... I have always just been me... a person. In a way I feel pretty much the same as I did, as I always have... although I am aware of how I have evolved as a person, what I have learned - but the essence of me still feels the same.
I still have a very clear memory of my grandmo