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
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
One of the things I have noticed on my visit to Greece is my inability to read Greek... its a completely different alphabet... while I was in Istanbul many of the letters (not all) were similar to the ones I know (English and Swedish) - so I was able to make out the words... Here in Athens that has been harder...
What I have also noticed is that names are an amazing way to learn to read. The children at Dorothy Snot school have a drawer with their name on it in the rooms...
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
(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 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
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
This week over in the Facebook group - "The Reggio Emilia Approach" I posted a question "What are provocations?"
This is a word I often see used in connection with the Reggio Emilia Approach, and in ever wider circles too. What I have see over the years is that the word is often used together with a beautifully set out activity, and quite often that activity looks very teacher down... in the sense that the teacher has chosen the "correct" colours for the flowers (or other ob
I love the fact that the Swedish preschool curriculum does not have goals for the children... but goals for the teachers and the education/service they provide. When I look at curriculums from many other parts of the world the focus is always on the goals the children need to reach, and that the rule is the teacher is to get the children there... if the goal focus is, instead, on the teacher and the setting then the rules are very different. They are no longer about getting t
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
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
STEM-education has been around for some time now... a focus on Science Technology Engineering and Maths in education - not long after came STEAM-education, introducing the Arts into the focus... As I have been talking with my co-collaborators for the Maker Square at Förskola21 on the 7th of October 2019 we felt there was an essential missing ingredient... Relationships - so we decided to add that extra R and create STREAM. STREAM does exist already in the sense that there are
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
This post was first written in 2014 when I attended the Play Iceland Conference The 2019 conference is already fully booked, but I am quite sure that there will be further chances to attend in the future. The conference is a space to visit early years settings together with other educators, to be inspired, to share wisdoms with each other, to attend lectures and workshops, to play and to feel alive in the Icelandic nature and hospitality. One of the things I noticed about all
I think what really fascinated me about AnjiPlay was that in social media there is a large focus on the risky play element of the approach... which means that from the outside the full spectrum of the play and the approach cannot be fully seen or appreciated... and this is why I have chosen to focus on writing about these other elements first... I believe that if these posts spike an interest you will easily look up AnjiPlay and discover more about it yourself, I hope that yo