A couple of Reggio-inspired ideas

Honestly, I don’t know who said this… but they’re from notes I took at a learning pod with Deb Curtis and Margie Carter, called ‘Through the Eyes of the Child: Meeting up with Children’s Minds’, which happened a couple of years ago… that’s the best I can do by way of reference, sorry.

– ‘What is in the environment?’
“set out activities to engage with children’s theory-making”
“every inch of the space must be examined for its intent”

Documentation and friendship

We meet up with children’s minds through pedagogical documentation. In fact, the process of pedagogical documentation
– informs the image of the child
– enables the pedagogy of relationships
– and necessitates the pedagogy of listening
(quoting perhaps Jan Millikan, 2007???)

Consider the possibilities of the following project questions:
How do people become friends?
Can friends still be friends if they fight?
What do friends do with their hands to show that they’re friends? …with their mouths?
What do friends see with their eyes?

Citizenship

Define citizenship…Take children seriously because they are citizens now…

Pedagogical theory and practices

Exploring to learn – acquiring physical knowledge (Piaget, 2001)

Hypothesizing to learn – theory making (Gallas 1995, Rinaldi 1998, Piazza/Barchi 2001)

Drawing to learn – symbolic thinking and consolidating knowledge (Forman 1996, Vecchi 1998, Kolbe 2005)

Collaborating to learn – social constructivism (Vygotsky 1978, Krechevsky 2001)

Making thinking and learning visible by exploring multiple perspectives & representations – multiple intelligences/pedagogical documentation/learning stories (Gardner 1999, Project Zero/Reggio Children 2001, Gould/Pohio 2006)

On teaching

“To be a good teacher, don’t just give information from a book, but from your experience, something you are excited about. Kids like to know teachers’ opinions, not just hear them read from a book.” Coe Quinn Carter, 2005

“I think its all about what kids play about. From watching. They could figure out how to teach if they would just watch.” Jesse Jayden Carter, 2005

“The content of the relationships between our teachers and their pupils tends to be dominated by information about the child’s conduct and level of performance. Thus, it seems that the content of relationships between teachers and children in our early childhood settings, when not focused on mundane routines, is about the children themselves. In contrast, my impression of Reggio Emilia practices is that to a large extent the content of teacher-child relationships is focused on the work itself, rather than mainly on routines or the children’s performances on academic tasks. Adults and children’s minds meet on matters of interest to both of them.

A program has intellectual vitality if the teacher’s individual and group interactions are mainly about what the chidlren are learning, planning, and thinking about, plus their interest in each other, and only minimally about the rules and routines.” Lilian Katz, 1998

“To enter into a style of teaching which is based on questioning what we’re doing and why, on listening to children, on thinking about how theory is translated into practice and how practice informs theory, is to enter into a way of working where professional development takes place day after day in the classroom.” Sonya Shoptaugh, 2004

“All of us collect fortunes when we are children – a fortune of colors, of light and darkness, of movements, of tensions. Some of us have the fantastic chance to go back to our fortune when we grow up. Most of us don’t have that chance – that is the tragedy.” Ingmar Bergman, filmmaker

“When we strive to uncover children’s theories, we see how they are constructed and as a result can more carefully construct our own thinking. For example, we can identify children’s carefully developed misconceptions. I see from my work in the classrooms that misconceptions are not always hastily put together. They are the result of observation, imagination, and logic; their development is the result of careful, though informal, scientific inquiry and is yet another example of children’s natural predisposition for scientific thinking.” Karen Gallas, 1995

In my view there are two aspects of teaching. The first is to put the teachers into contact with phenomena related to the area to be studied – the real thing, not books or lectures about it – and to help them to notice what is interesting; to engage them so they will continue to think and wonder about it. The second is to have the students explain the sense they are making, and instead of explaining things to students, to try to understand their sense.” Eleanor Duckworth, 2006

“We need to ensure that teaching is understood as a deliberate, thoughtful process based on knowledge of how children learn and a set of beliefs about what is important for them to learn.” Glenda MacNaughton and Gillian Williams, 2000

“What if we were to assume that children came to school more, rather than less, able to communicate their thinking about the world? Why not assume that when the child enters school, he or she presents us with an enormous number of innate tools to acquire. What effect might this assumption have on our approach to what the languages of learning are?” Karen Gallas, 1994

“We want to know what the children think, feel, and wonder. We believe that children will ahve things to tell each other and us that we have never heard before. We are always listening for a surprise and the birth of a new idea. This practice supports a searching together for new meaning. Together we become a community of seekers.” Louise Boyd Cadwell, 2003

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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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