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The Original Learning Approach Reading

This page connects to my book published by Redleaf  Press -

The Original Learning Approach: Weaving Together Playing, Learning and Teaching Together in Early Childhood.


Here you will find reading, listening and watching that has inspired me over the years. This is a constant work in process as it will be added to over time - things I have not yet found, things I have forgotten and things that are yet to be shared with the world.

Each chapter has its own section with suggestions of what to read, listen and watch in order to deepen your understanding of what I have written in my book. I have not included my references in the book here, this is an extra suggested reading list.

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This is a link to a padlet I have created - it has all sorts of links connected to play and is another way of finding out more 


Lera Boroditsky: How Language shapes the way we think 


Suzanne Axelsson, Interaction Imagination 


Decolonization is for Everyone 


Decolonizing the Curriculum 


Cannella, G.S (1997). Deconstructing Early Childhood Education: Social Justice and revolution. New York: Peter Lang


Edwards, Gandini and Forman (1998). Introduction in The Hundred languages of Children. The Reggio Emilia Approach – Advanced Reflections. Ablex Publishing Corporation


Melville Jones H.E. (2000). The Rights of Children: A suggested Approach for Early Childhood Care and Education in Australia. Paper presented at the Australian Association for Research in Education Conference, Sydney, Australia. Retrieved November 2009 from


Moss, Peter (2007). The otherness of reggio. Experiencing Reggio Emilia– Implications for preschool provision Open University Press.


Nutbrown, Cathy (2006). Key Concepts in Early Childhood Education and Care. London:Sage Publications


Experiencing Reggio Emilia: Implications for preschool provision. Abbot & Nutbrown 


Exercising Muscles and Minds (2nd edition) Outdoor play and the Early Years Curriculum. Marjorie Ouvry


Early Childhood Matters: Evidence from the Effective Pre-school and Primary Education project. (2010) Sylva et al.


More about David Hawkins 

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Wilson, Penny  (2009) PlayWork Primer


Palmer, Sue (2021) Play is the Way CCWB Press


Bogost (2016) Play Anything: The Pleasure of limits, the uses of boredom and the secret of games. Basic Books


Russell et al (2007) Playwork Voices: In celebration of Bob Hughes and Gordon Sturrock. The London Centre of Playwork Education and Training


Buchan, Niki Adventurous Play: Developing children’s life skills through rich play experiences. Teaching Solutions. 


Anji Play 


Axelsson, Suzanne 

Play Wales 


Play Scotland 


Child Encyclopedia 


Helpful Professor 


Technology Rich Inquiry Based Research 


He kupo (New Zealand connecting to Te Whäriki) 


Play and Playground Encyclopedia 


Centre for Playful Inquiry 

Peter Gray - The Decline of Play 


Ash Perrin - The Power of Play 


Joanne Wicks - Play is the Child’s Language: Play Therapy. 


Wendy Russel - Play and Emotions 


The Neuroscience of Play Stuart Brown 


Siviy (2017) A brain Motivated to Play: Insights to the neurobiology of play. 


Exploring the Benefit of Doll play through Neuroscience (2020) Hasmi et al 

Sturrock,G. & Else, P. (1998) The playground as therapeutic space: playwork as healing ‘The Colorado Paper’

Gray, P. (2008) The Value of Play 1: The Definition of Play gives Insights

Badt, K (2013) Let Your Child Play: The Answer to ADHD and More, According to Scientists. Huffington Post

OPAL (2021) Why Do Schools Need Great Play

Zosh, J. M, Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R. M., and Dore, R. A. (2017). “Where learning meets creativity: The promise of guided play,” in Creative Contradictions in Education: Cross Disciplinary Paradoxes and Perspectives, eds R. Beghetto and B. Sriraman (New York, NY: Springer International Publishing), 165–180. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-21924-0_10



Interaction Imagination


Teacher Tom


The Scientific Study of Wonder 


The Paradox of Knowledge 


Is Wonder a cognitive or emotional? 


How Awe and Wonder stretch the mind 


What’s Awe got to do with it? How awe transforms the body and mind 


Making spaces of awe and restoration 


The Wonder approach to Learning (2014) L’Ecuyer 

Allen, S. (2018) The Science of Awe, A white paper prepared for the John Templeton Foundation by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley,  


Wonder-Full Education: The Centrality of Wonder in Teaching and Learning Across the Curriculum Edited By Kieran Egan, Annabella Cant, Gillian Judson 2014, Routledge. 


Curiosity and Exploration (1983) Hans-Georg Voss and Heidi Keller. Academic Press.


Children’s Interests in the Early Years Classroom: views practices and challenges. Maria Birbili Maria Birbili, Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, Volume 23, 2019, 


Curiosity as the impulse to know: common behavioral and neural mechanisms underlying curiosity and impulsivity -Caroline B Marvin, Ellen Tedeschi, Daphna Shohamy, - Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 35, 2020, Pages 92-98, ISSN 2352-1546,


Susan Edelman (1997) Curiosity and Exploration 


Bishop, John (2007). Creating Places for Living and Learning, in Experiencing Reggio Emilia- implications for pre-school provision. Open University Press.


Alison Clark (2010) Transforming Children’s Spaces: Children’s and adult’s participation in designing learning environments


Gandini et al (2004) In the Spirit of the Studio: Learning from the atelier of Reggio Emilia


E. Paul Torrance Scientific Views of Creativity and Factors Affecting Its Growth

Daedalus Vol. 94, No. 3, Creativity and Learning (Summer, 1965) , pp. 663-681 (19 pages) Published By: The MIT Press


Kidd and Hayden : The Psychology and Neuroscience of Curiosity




Knowledge at Wharton: 


Teacher Tom


What is Curiosity 


Curiosity Mindset article including a TedTalk.



Love as an Act of  Resistance: Ethical subversion in early childhood professional practice in England. By Lynette Morris


Characterising the principles of Professional Love in early childhood care and education Page, J., 5 Apr 2018, In: International Journal of Early Years Education. 26, 2, p. 125-141 17 p.


The Legacy of John Bowlby’s Attachment Theory Page, J., 2016, The Routledge International Handbook of Philosophies and Theories of Early Childhood Education and Care. David, T., Goouch, K. & Powell, S. (eds.). London: Routledge, p. 80-90 11 p


Working with Babies and Children: From birth to three Page, J., Clare, A. & Nutbrown, C., 1 Nov 2013, 2 ed. London: Sage Publications


Love in a Time of Colic: Mobilizing Professional Love in Relationships with Children and Young People to Promote Their Resilience and Wellbeing Purcell, M., Page, J. & Reid, J., 8 Oct 2020, In: Child & Youth Services. p. 1-24 24 p


This article also has a link to an attachment toolkit created by Jools Page 


Neuroscience of Sadness 


Nature can get it out of your mind 


Emotions, cultural activity and neuroscience 


Suzanne Axelsson 


Kindness Curriculum 


Psychology Today 


Teacher Tom 


The Psychology and Neuroscience of Happiness (Joyful Mind) 


Circle of Security (includes film) (I call this refuelling in the book, and have been using it for the last 20 years as a conscious act, this website gives more research into the theory behind what I worked out through practice and observation, and found this page after writing the book)


Feeling Touched: Emotional Modulation of Somatosensory Potentials to Interpersonal Touch. N. Ravaja et al 



Learning from Each other 


Can We be Intelligent about Intelligence? 


Do children know what they know?


Young Children’s transfer strategies 


Immediate and delayed effects of invented writing intervention in preschool 


Margaret Kovach (2010) Indigenous Methodologies. Characteristics, conversations and contexts.


Windchief & San Pedro (2019) Applying Indigenous Research Methods. Storying with Peoples and Communities

Linda Tuhiwai Smith (1999) Decolonising Methodologies. Research and Indigenous Peoples. 2nd edition.


Suzanne Axelsson 

Julie Gabrielli 

Teacher Tom


The Paradox of Knowledge 


Psychobiology of Self Regulation 


Executive Function and Self regulation (article includes a film) 


Helping Preschoolers Build Self regulation skills (includes several films) 


Robin Kimmerer (she starts speaking at 16 minutes, and there IS sound then) 




A Golden Age for Creativity a Research Interview with Dean Keith Simonton 


Interview: The Neuroscience of Creativity - Anna Abraham 


 Applying the neuroscience of creativity to creativity training. Balder Ornaheim and Morten Friis-Olivarius , 2013 


All our futures; creativity, culture and education . 


Nona Orbach: 


Roberta Pucci 


Gai Lindsay 


Psychology Today 


Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 


Teacher Tom 


Suzanne Axelsson


Creativity Thrives on what the brain fears most. (uncertainty) 


What is Imagination 


Why is Imagination so Important 


What is Creativity? - Sir Ken Robinson 


Imagination: It’s now what you think, but how you think 


Imagination - Lera Boroditsky 


Alison Gopnik - The Amazing Minds of Children 


Risky Play and Children’s Safety: Balancing Priorities for Optimal Child Development - Brussoni, Mariana & Olsen, Lise & Pike, Ian & Sleet, David. (2012).  International journal of environmental research and public health. 9. 3134-48. DOI:10.3390/ijerph9093134 


Perceived challenges of early childhood educators in promoting unstructured outdoor play: an ecological systems perspective.- Cheng, Brussoni, Munday & Zeni (2022) 


Everyday Uncertainties: Reframing adult perceptions of risk in children’s outdoor free play.'_perceptions_of_risk_in_children's_outdoor_free_play_Journal_of_Adventure_Education_and_Outdoor_Learning 


Tim Gill - No Fear.


The Benefits of Risky Play and Adult Influence in children’s risky play. 


Buchan, Niki Adventurous Play: Developing children’s life skills through rich play experiences. Teaching Solutions. 


Dodd HF, & Lester K (2021) Adventurous play as a mechanism for reducing risk for childhood anxiety: a conceptual model. Clin Child Fam Psych 24:164–81


Dodd, Nesbit & FitzGibbon (2022) Child’s Play: Examining the Association Between Time Spent Playing and Child Mental Health. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev (2022). 


Eager, D., & Little, H. (2011). Risk deficit disorder. Retrieved from 


Farmer VL, Fitzgerald RP, Williams SM, Mann JI, Schofield G, McPhee JC et al (2017) What did schools experience from participating in a randomised controlled study (PLAY) that prioritised risk and challenge in active play for children while at school? J Adv Educ Outdoor Learn 17(3):239–257


Gray, P. (2011) The decline of play and the rise of psychopathology in children and adolescents. Am J Play 3(4):443–463


Gray, P. (2019). Evolutionary functions of play: Practice, resilience, innovation, and cooperation. In P. K.  Smith & J. Roopnarine (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of play: Developmental and disciplinary perspectives  (pp. 84–102). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 


Malone, K. (2007). The bubble-wrap generation: children growing up in walled gardens. Environmental Education Research, 13(4), 513-527. 


Marano, H. E., & Skenazy, L. (2011). Why parents should stop overprotecting kids and let them play: An interview with Hara Estroff Marano and Lenore Skenazy. American Journal of Play, 3(4), 423- 442. 


Mohr, P.N.C., Biele, G. & Heekeren, H.R. (2010) Neural Processing of Risk. Journal of Neuroscience 30 (19) 6613-6619; DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0003-10.2010


Pellis, S. M., & Pellis, V. C. (2011). Rough and tumble play: Training and using the social brain. In A. D.  Pellegrini (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of the development of play (pp. 245–259). New York: Oxford University Press.  


Pinker, S. (1999) How the Mind Works. Penguin Books.


Sandseter, E. B. H. (2009). Characteristics of risky play. Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning. 9(1), 3-21, doi: 10.1080/14729670802702762 


Stephenson, A. (2003). Physical risk-taking: dangerous or endangered? Early Years. 23(1), 35- 43. 


Dodd, A. (23–28 mars1992). War and peace; Toys, teachers, and tots. [Paper]. 43rd Annual Conference of the Southern Association Children under Six. Tulsa.


Knutsdotter Olofsson, B. (2003). I lekens värld. Liber. 


Morrongiello, B. A., & Lasenby-Lessard, J. (2007). Psychological determinants of risk taking by children: an integrative model and implications for interventions. Injury Prevention, 13(1), 20-25. 


Pellis, S. M., & Pellis, V. C. (2012). Play-fighting during early childhood and its role in preventing later chronic aggression. Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development, 2012, 1-4


Theorell, E. (2021) Kraft, form, transformationer Om kinestetisk musikalitet och kroppsvärldande i pojkars krigslek. Doktorsavhandling. Stockholms Universitet. 


Carlson, F. M. (2009). Rough and tumble play 101. Exchange, July/August 2009, 70-71. 


Megan Zeni 


Play Scotland 


Childhood by Nature  


Psychology Today


Playground Professionals 


Interaction Imagination 


Teacher Tom

Ubud- Höör Declaration 


Judy Klein: Our Relationship to Risk 


Occupational Therapy Advice 

Trauma Informed links...

ACE Aware Wales 

Elfström, N () Trauma i Klassrummet. En handbok för personal i Klassrummet. Sollentuna Kommun 

Trauma Informed Schools UK 

Trauma Sensitive Schools


Rinaldi (2008). In dialogue with Reggio Emila. Listening, researching and Learning

Curtis et al (2013) Reflecting in Communities of Practice: A workbook for early childhood educators.


Suzanne Axelsson


Stefania Giaminuti 


Teacher Tom 


An Australian perspective 


Diane Kashin Alma Fleet 2022 Special Issue on Pedagogical documentation - Researching a Powerful and Evolving Idea. Guide to Self reflective practice. Cigala et al (2019)  Reflective Practice: A Method to Improve Teachers’ Well-Being. A Longitudinal Training in Early Childhood Education and Care Centers

Brookfield, S., 1995.  How To Become A Critically Reflective Teacher.  San Fransisco: Jossey Boss

Hanson K. J., 2012.  How Can I Support Early Childhood Studies Undergraduate Students To Develop Reflective Dispositions? University of Exeter: Exeter

Hanson K. & Appleby, K.,  2015. Reflective Practice. In: Reed, M. & Walker, R. (2015). Early Childhood Studies: A Critical Reader. London, Sage Publications. pp.24-3

Schön, D. A., 1983. The Reflective Practitioner. London: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.

Schön, D. A., 1987. Educating the Reflective Practitioner. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Learning Stories, from New Zealand



This is your brain on silence: 


Teacher Tom 

Suzanne Axelsson


Terri Lenowski: Nobody is Listening and it’s Deadly 


Chanel Lewis: Listening is Radical 


Ronnie Polineczky The Power of Deliberate Listening 

Julian Treasure 

Evelyn Glennie 

Why is Listening and Important Skill? 

Philosophy 4 Children 

Jana Mohr Lone - Doing philosophy with children 

Why Philosophy with Children 

Philosophy for Children 

The importance of Listening 



Peter Wohlleben The Hidden Life of Trees. Greystone Books


Robin Wall Kimmerer Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific 

Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants. Milkweed


Anderson et al Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition A Resource for Educators: The Importance of Indigenous Perspectives in Children’s Environmental Inquiry. The Laboratory School at the Dr Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study.


Vakil, Shernavaz; Freeman, Ramona & Swim Terry Jo (2003) The Reggio Emilia Approach and Inclusive Early Childhood Programs Early Childhood Education Journal, Vol. 30, No. 3, Spring


Zakin, Andrea (2005) A Vygotskian Approach to Art Education: Cognitive Functioning in the Artistic process. New York University


Suzanne Axelsson


Donna Harraway, Staying with the trouble (includes a podcast)


The Language of Trees 


Rosi Braidotti - Why still education? 


Annette Arlander Performing with Trees

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