Planning, the teachable moment and the ordinary moment 2

Hill continues: “If the word ‘planning’ is to be reconceptualised within a framework of current theory, we must understand that any act planned for the future is firmly rooted in the past. Planning then becomes a retrospective act, one that reflectively draws upon past experience in order to address the future but an act that is only ever fulfilled in the present, soon to be the past.” (12)

Kingston and Wright (2001) challenge the proccupation with planning for the future, always trying to prepare children for the next big thing, and they ask why teachers do not value children’s lives now, why teachers cannot engage in what Kingston and Wright term ‘non-planning’. They focus on processes set in the present such as listening, co-constructing knowledge, authenticity, adults and children interacting, learning from each other… valuing equal power relations, valuing relationships and interactions, valuing the teaching-learning process as reciprocal and valuing and creating opportunities for child and adult passions and emotions to flourish.” (12)

That learning is fundamentally in and of the moment and that planning ‘for things to be done’ is problematic, has been acknowledged over time with the appearance of terms such as ‘flexible planning’, ‘possible lines of direction’ and ‘the teachable moment’ and most recently the term ‘the ordinary moment’. Rather than allow these terms to be labelled serendipitous, loose and even unprofessional, early childhood teachers need to trust in the process of reconceptualising the notion of planning as it relates to their own practice; they must reclaim the present tense as a viable and integral part of responsible teaching. Fleet and Patterson (1998) support this by suggesting that rather than deciding on children’s learning  as a list of detailed expectations in advance, it is more valuable to represent their learning as work-in-progress, to document the on-going processes and to invite children and their families to join in reflection upon the recorded learning moments.” (12)

“In the learning moment the meaning given to the word ‘planning’ determines the way the moment is committed to history – to the learning story of the child.” (13)

“If ‘learning is a complex process fundamentally controlled by the learner’ (Ministry of Education, [Revised Statement of DOPs] 1998, p5) it is the teacher’s responsibility to recognise this and to develop an awareness of the power and passion that he or she might bring to the learning moment and to allow it to be complicated by and give way to the power and the passion of the learner.” (13)

Hill, Diti (2001) Passion, power and planning in the early childhood centre. The First Years: Nga Tau Tuatahi. New Zealand Journal of Infant and Toddler Education, 3(2), 10-13

[ON THIS NOTE, BY WAY OF AN ASIDE… Does Lefebvre’s work fit in here – his concept of the moment… how does this inform these ideas about ‘teachable moments’, etc.?]


About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
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