Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Light, colour and reflections...

Yesterday I shared a post with a film where I played with prisms, and also shared two films about how do prisms work and rainbows...

in those films there was the statement that white light could be created with just the colours red, blue and green and that the full spectrum was not needed to create white light...

So in the first film I made today there is some playing with these ideas... of red, blue and green light and the shadows...


What is really interesting when you play with light like this is that when you move the red light it is not the red shadow that moves but the green one... this could be a great stimulus for children to think about why this is the case... they can present their theories and why they think this...

here is a film showing how you can do this experiment on a bigger scale (I was just using torches/flashlights with coloured plastic over them) - my next investment would be the lamps as in the below film


In the next film... it explains why the shadows are different colours... and why they are not the colour that you would maybe first expect...






The local lake where I live has been a source of lots of inspiration... to slow down and notice the small things, and to appreciate what nature has to offer...
I also think nature can inspire our experiments inside (and outside)
For instance I love watching how the light reflects off the lake and creates patterns on the trees surrounding the lake, and overhanging the water... the ripples in the lake caused by the wind, and also the movement of fish (as was the case today... in some places it looked like the water was boiling because the fish were feeding off the seeds falling from some of the trees.



I am thinking trying out the same experiment another time but with a less reflective tray to contain the water... to see how this will impacts the reflection on the wall. I am also interested in floating other things on the surface too, including oil.
The great thing with the water and light play is that there is so much science and learning happening at the same time... not just about light, but also about floating, about the impact of movement, of wind...
could the tray be put on a speaker so that sound can create waves?

I think if I was working with very young children I would set this up as a usual water play session but change the lighting so that it created patterns on the wall to see how the children react... do they notice the patterns... does this change their way of playing and pouring things?
I would select the materials for pouring and floating carefully to be a part of the shadow making, with transparent, opaque and solid materials...
I think most children will want to experience the water first... so this is not an experiment I would try with children as their first contact with water for a while... it would be an experiment that has context... either we had noticed the reflections outside on the lake together and decided together to recreate them back at the preschool, or it would be a development of their water play...


Monday, 16 July 2018

Playing with prisms

I have been avoiding the heat of the sun here in Sweden and been playing in the dark again - this time with prisms

here is a short film from the first play session


I think if I had made the room even darker it would have been more effect-full...  but even in semi darkness it was fascinating... and obviously good for children who are afraid of the dark, so they can participate without dealing with fear...

To learn more about prisms... and some experiments you can do... finding the colours, understanding that it is the white light that IS the colours, and how to turn the rainbow back into white light... then watch the film below...



This film is intended for you as an adult to learn more about prims and to feel more assured when playing with rainbows and prisms...
each raindrop acts like a mini prism

If you prefer to watch something in Swedish about prisms, then check out the film after...
the film is designed for children... but is still useful for adults too...









Hope you have fun playing with prisms and rainbows...






Saturday, 14 July 2018

Layers of Colour

When I am in Athens next year to be a keynote speaker where I will be talking about play learning and the very youngest preschoolers I will also be presenting a workshop on play - with a focus on light and shadow, similar to workshops I held this year in Jenin, Palestine.
But at the moment I am collecting ideas, testing out the ideas and developing them - so that the play-workshop in Athens can push our play and imagination a little further...
Here is a short film of today's testing...
I have an idea of layering colours to create shadows... and this was my first test to see how we can create temporary art installations... and I want movement to be a part of this also.



This activity can easily be connected to Mondrian if you add strips of solid material/black card or frames and hang them between/round the cellaphane to create the Mondrian look
In this link you can see some Mondrian inspiration in the Hague... including coloured shadows...
Mondrian art on buildings in the Hague

This is of course just the first test of an idea which is slightly more complex in my mind, but I just wanted to see if it would work, and how it would work, to think out how to develop it further...

Friday, 13 July 2018

The story of a hug...

I recently read a short article about the benefits of hugs (touch) and babies... and just how it impacts the brain and development of the child.
The post was shared in a group about early childhood education as a reaction to the fact that some settings are writing no-hug policies.
And while I think physical contact is incredibly important to the well-being and development of each child, I also think we cannot just go round hugging every child as a pedagogical plan to develop their brains... we need to think about consent.
As a person who does not like hugging all that much, and also the mother of children where hugging/touch is not something they are keen on outside of the family I think we have to be aware of how we reach out to others.

As an early years educator I have learned to hug and touch to me the needs of the children... it has come out of empathy and an intellectual place. I have a huge respect for children who do not want to be touched and will wait for a signal, or will gently test to see if a hand on an arm, or holding a hand is what they need... sometimes it is just about sitting next to them... that is contact enough.

A hug or touch is a sensory experience. And if you are a person that is easily sensory overloaded then it can be difficult to appreciate the intentions of the hugger as all you focus on is the overload sensory experience and how to deal with that.

I have worked with children that have needed a firm hand rather than a light touch - the firmness was a better feel than the light touch which triggered a kind of discomfort - some children love to be tickled... others experience it as pain. I worked with one child that would stim a lot when very excited... hands waving so much she was unable to eat her apple, but if I applied pressure to her back in an up and down movement she was able to release the joy through me and focus on her apple. The moment I stopped was the instance the stimming started. I have no problem with stimming, but it was getting in the way of her eating her apple with the other children, and this small gesture enable her to be included in the group activity.

I think what it boils down to is love.
Jools Page has researched and written about Professional Love which I have written about on numerous occasions on my blog over the years. This is such an essential part of working with people.
Not just young children... but all people.
I think if we are coming from a place of professional love then we are going to be incorporating consent too, it is about showing care for the whole child/person and being aware of their emotional needs... understanding when a hug and when touch are essential to enabling the child to develop and reach their own potential, and also understand what form of touch is the most supportive and caring and respectful in the situation.

Today I read about children (albeit older ones) receiving electric shocks in a school in Massachusetts as part of their education... to condition them... and from what I can gather it is clear that the shocks are not being used in a therapeutic way but more as a way of control and punishment.  Professional love should be something that is used throughout the education system.
We see the lengths teachers go to protect their children in USA and the awful mass-shootings in schools... it is clear that professional love happens... but maybe it should become more official.

If you explore what the word love means you will see there is great diversity in its definitions... but essentially it involves caring for, or identifying with another. Also as I explored love I cam across the chinese word REN... Confucius never apparently completely defined it, because of its diversity... but it kind of comes back to love, humanity and interactions with others. Which is what we want for our children in schools... and this can mean touch and hugs.

There is the science (neuroscience) to back up the effects of touch - there is research about the catastrophic effects of when children do not get the physical contact that they need... (see links below)...

we need to ensure we are meeting the needs of the WHOLE child.



other links for further reading
Tracey Seed - Cuddling
Not touching - likened to child abuse
På svenska - in Swedish... research projects about touch in preschools - necessary or bad?
No touching kids policies is good for teachers - not quite the text I was expecting to read... as it seems to be written by a person who does not like being touched, but still important to read.
Losing Touch - how teachers are afraid to have physical contact with children in their care.
What the lack of affection can do to you
The Influence of touch on child development
The human touch: a neglected feeling - the importance of touch throughout life
Touching Empathy - that lack of physical touch can actually kill babies...

Saturday, 7 July 2018

The story of trends

This is a post where I explore the idea of trending in education...
this is something that I have looked at before, but feel the urge to explore it again...
especially after reading this post -
Why Low-tech is trending in education - when here in Sweden it is all about digital learning that is trending, and that is so apparent in the proposal for the new preschool curriculum. This made me think... should a curriculum be specifying trends in this way? Or should it be phrased in a more open way? So that ALL media are seen with equal value and not some (that are trending at the moment) are seen with more value... because we do not know what the future holds...
I am not saying that the digital world should be ignored, what I am saying is that it is one of many learning languages to express thoughts, ideas and explore.

A few days ago I posted about The Political Nature of the Reggio Emilia Approach and part of that post was a TEDtalk about the dangers of a single story... and I think trends are a part of this... we get fixated on an idea and follow that trend, and quite often trends are not being questioned, or pulled apart or fully understood as they should be... they are simply followed... and it becomes a single story.

Sometimes a "trend" is not fully understood which means that only a part of it is being spread... for instance within The Reggio Emilia Approach is is often the aesthetics rather than the the full complexity of the approach where our view of the child is explored - and the child is seen as competent and capable and a co-learner, where democratic learning and listening is integral to the approach, where it is about the whole community, etc etc and not just what the classroom looks like.

At the same time trends are almost a necessity... they are spoon fed alternatives to the status quo... which sadly is the only option in a profession that is  valued so little, that not enough time or resources are available... to be truly reflective there needs to be more time for teachers to explore pedagogy and ideas individually and, more importantly, together as a team without it impacting he children.
There needs to be enough time for educators to meet and discuss the children, discuss their teaching methods, explore research and pedagogical approaches etc so that they can evolve and also properly understand... that theory supports their practice, and that their practice is based on their understanding of the theory - so if they do not understand the theory it is going to impact the quality of their practice. If they are only given access to certain elements of pedagogical approaches, then they are not getting the whole story.

Also I think when it is trends, what happens is that you are just window dressing your status quo... the core of your practice is not being addressed it tends to be a change that barely scratches the surface. This, I feel, impacts diversity.
Diversity of ideas, of gender, of religion, race, politics etc etc...
Its kind of like changing the colour of your computer without changing the programming... we need to update the whole system, not just make it look prettier, or more expensive or more modern... The change has to happen within.

A relationship with the third teacher - this post looks at the need to go beyond the look and to meet the needs of the children and the context you find yourself... and to resist the trends, but to create equality.
What is equality? What do we mean by this in the classroom? How do we achieve that? How can we help children become aware of a cultural equality in their greater community if they are in a setting that tells a single story? What does the classroom say? Who does it validate? Who is not seen? And how does that impact us?

Process not product - this post explores how we create learning spaces that are about the process of learning rather than the product of attained goals/grades. About the need of diverse materials and diverse approaches to learning and play... there is not one way to learn, there are many diverse ways to explore the same topic.

Hygge in Preschool - actually this is a bit of an eye-roll at the use of Scandinavian words in the English language and that they are trendy. I mean I am very much in favour of preschools and schools being caring environments, that feel safe and comfortable for the children and staff to develop meaningful relationships that allow genuine learning. But to say we need to create hygge... set the room up in specific ways or do certain activities is lending itself to trend... of stopping listening to the children and doing the whole copy and paste... even if it is with well-meaning intentions...
What do the children YOU work with need to feel safe and secure? How can you develop meaningful relationships with them? How can you design the room so that it is meeting cozy needs of comfort but as well as waking curiosity and stimulating learning?

The story of a dining table - this post was written in response to someone writing that if you were "true Reggio inspired" you had tablecloths on the meal tables... tablecloths do not make you Reggio inspired... but if it is right for your setting... the culture and the context... then of course be my guest, put a table cloth on the meal table and enjoy the experience. What is Reggio is reflecting on how you honour the child... is a tablecloth necessary for that... sometimes maybe, other times not... The important thing is to reflect on how do we create respectful environments for and with the children.

The Early Years has more to do to Embrace Diversity - this is a post written by Laura Henry and explores the need to be more diverse in how we view diversity. We cannot simply think of diversity on one way... most often race and religion... it is so much more complicated than that... and includes the children, the setting, the staff and the families...

outdoor v indoor, learning v play - this post reflects on how we as a profession look at learning and play as well as the indoors and the outdoors... seldom do we talk about all of these things with equal value. Too often outdoor play is promoted as a trend, rather than as a place of natural learning and play... and while I think there is a real need to encourage more outdoor learning and play it is interesting to see how to is being done... "outdoor classrooms" "Forest school" is like shifting one thing to another place rather than evolving, expanding and embracing it all.

Sometimes I think even "risky play" is becoming a trend, rather than there being a full understanding of what risky play is, how it impacts the children now and in the future, and also how it impacts us as educators... how do we develop the skills needed to be a guide of risky play... do we "teach" it, or do we create the space for it... I find many articles about the need for it, but seldom about how to support the educators on how to embrace it in their daily practice. And i think this is the danger of trend... we do not go deep enough, partly because not enough time is given to educators to explore ideas, and partly because critical and creative thinking is still not valued as much as academic thinking. Also the fact that we are raised in a standardised school system with grades and right and wrong answers, we are not used to learning by failing... making mistakes and learning from them is a part of risk taking, it is also a part of process learning... and yet there is seldom room for this kind of practice - it has to be "correct" all the time. Teachers are afraid of reprimand, of getting it wrong - and so would rather hide their mistakes than learn from them... there are of course some brave teachers that defy the system and do what is right, boldly go where no teacher has gone before - and suddenly the universe and its great diversity is available for the children to explore...







Thursday, 5 July 2018

The political nature of the Reggio Emilia Approach...

in Swedish after the links
I am not a particularly political person... I have said this before... and this is not a post about politics - but this post does touch on the fact that education is a political entity.
It is through education that values are taught.
It is through education that history is taught... what is included, what is excluded, what bias, who is the narrator
It is through education that children are being prepped for society... especially in standardised education where there are right and wrong answers, an emphasis on filling the child with pre-approved knowledge rather than teaching children how to think creatively, critically and empathically..


The Reggio Emilia Approach was born out of a political situation... the parents of the city desiring a future where their children did not just follow fascist leaders but were equipped to make informed decisions of their own... to be able to choose what is right rather than just follow without question.
Carlina Rinaldi highlighted "how a teacher's work should be grounded in political belief and advocacy." (page 183, The Hundred Languages of Children, 1998)

When I said that I am not political it is more about the fact that I have not found a party that I feel truly represents me, it feels more like a case of choosing the lesser evil. I am about humanity - about equality - about respect and well-being.
I think there are many ways, in many cultures and many religions where this can be achieved.
I think that the human rights and children rights are good guidelines for how we treat each other.

I mean every single one of us knows that governments worldwide are looking for returns on their "investments" in early childhood and education. This can be seen in the curriculum, in policies in how much funding is poured (or not) into education. How research is continuously having to prove that it is economically worth while to invest in the early years - and that play and academics are often pitched against each other. Or that exams, revision, books, materials are becoming more and more a part of the financial side of things rather than being their to support children and teachers in there learning journey together - and more often than not the government (politics) is involved in which materials are used in the early years and schools.

How are teachers being trained? How much is being invested in this is also a political decision.

But surely what we all deem as important, as educators, especially those inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach, is the voice of the child is what is the most important.
How do we enable the voice of the child to be heard by all... especially in political and social climates that do not value the child as much as we do?
What values are we wanting to communicate to children? Often, these days, I hear about "British Values" and "Swedish Values" and "Christian or Muslim Values" and "make America great again" - but what do all of these really mean? And aren't such statements political? Especially as far too often these days they are used in an exclusive way.

Being a British person who has lived my entire adult life in Sweden I have found that I am in a place where I feel both British and Swedish and neither. I spent six months in Australia, where I gave u telling people that I was British because I got sick of hearing about how I was responsible for bringing over certain species of flora and fauna that was harming the indigenous nature... I would like to point out that I have never taken any such thing over, and non of my family ever emigrated to Australia... so I am pretty sure it was the ancestors of the people accusing me...
But this is how prejudice works... whole stories are forgotten, only selected stories are repeated until they are accepted as the truth... this is politics...

For example the Shakespeare play "Richard III" was written and performed to confirm the rights of the Tudors on the throne... not because it was the truth, but to discredit the king that was defeated. History was re-written for political purposes and was thus taught afterwards in a warped way...
Just as the Vikings were always portrayed as warriors rather than the mostly farmers that they were... as the countries they invaded had a written history, while the Nordic countries only had runes (not as much writing, documenting of their history as in the counterparts in the rest of Europe).
If we look throughout we learned about the body and medicine - we will find it is heavily influenced by politics - hysteria being a medical condition that allowed women to be seen as inferior, weaker... and many other medical conditions that were "created" to allow child brides back in the day of the Romans...

So if facts are politically controlled... then we need to accept that education is too.

I think what we need to strive for is creating learning spaces that allows children to be aware of the world and the context that they live in... to be aware that they can make choices... to be aware of how to make informed choices (for me that means learning about all the stories and not a single story) - to be aware of how to treat other people with respect and that they have the right to be treated with respect themselves, and to be aware that we all have a responsibility to ourselves, to each other and to this planet we live on...

I think, this is something that, no matter where our political alignment falls, we can all agree...

the problem is that sometimes/often politics is not always aligned with human rights - or they are selective... and this is a worldwide problem.

So,  how do we, as educators, reconcile with the fact we teach young children, we are about protecting the rights of young children, we promote their learning and their development, we strive to keep them safe - and yet we can reside in the same country that does not do the same?
Do we simply agree because this is the society we have chosen? Do we protest because our society values our voice and listens? Do we agree because we are politically aligned to those making the decisions? Do we stand up and say I don't accept THIS?

And then the children we are with everyday... are we making the decision to teach them so that they follow the rules no matter what, because that makes a good citizen? or do we raise them to question and to do the right thing? How do we know what is the right thing? What values are we going to instil in the children so that their moral compass rings true?

The Reggio Emilia Approach was started by a group of parents, who called to Malaguzzi for guidance - so that their children would question authority and not just accept - but have the strength and courage to do the right thing. From a humanity point of view. So this approach of pedagogy is in a sense a political movement... and I think many forget that as they describe the aesthetics, and focus on the materials rather than the philosophy...

This is why I have liked using philosophy with children - with preschoolers and school aged children... because it has taught me, as an educator (and parent) to learn how to guide, to listen rather than direct the children... I am fully aware of the power I have, I am continually learning about the prejudices and bias that I carry with me - as part of my childhood, the city I was raised in, the schools I attended the experiences I have had etc... and I try to work out how they impact the children, and others around me, in order to give the children the freedom they need to be able to make up their own minds... how I can supply information that they need to be able to make balanced and informed choices. The philosophy sessions allow the children to value each other, value the ideas of others, become aware that we all have different opinions and that we can discuss them with respect... that best results are achieved when we listen to understand and not just listen to argue back... to be open to new ideas, to changing ideas but also be true to what you feel is right, to your values and for your truth to grow with your knowledge and experiences gained.
We should not stand still on a value if we learn or experience that it is unethical or inhumane... we need to allow ourselves to evolve...

Historically we need to only look at Copernicus and Galileo to see how complicated this can be... the Church did not like the fact that scientific knowledge(due to the fact that new technology allowed to see new things) meant that humans had access to the information that the sun did not revolve around the earth but that the earth was one planet of many that revolved around the sun... Copernicus lost his life... Galileo retracted - the church though kept the information that was useful to ship merchants and therefore was useful to making money - but made sure the information that threatened their power was kept secret from the general public.
My first degree is in history and ancient history... this is why the constant references to history...

I am not a person that thinks we should be teaching preschoolers about what right wing, what left wing is... or what radicals or extremists are... but I do think older children need to learn everything they possibly can about what various parties stand for - and also about foreign policies... our planet is a shared space... what you do in your part of the world is going to impact me in my part of the world, as well as others...

As a teacher, and as a parent, I want to equip my children so that they understand their context, they can feel a part of it - so that they can be responsible participants. I want them to be caring and empathic, I want them to treat others with respect, and demand to be treated with respect themselves. I want them to know that they are a part of the whole world (why I started the International Fairy Tea Party - so that children could connect with other children around the world... in their own language... play). I want them to feel safe, to be able to ask questions, to feel empowered, to feel competent, to be aware of their abilities and their potential and to be able to reach their potential. To be able to learn and to be able to PLAY.

Far too often to be able to provide the above to children we have to get political... not all children in the world are safe, not all children have access to education, not all children are respected, not all children get to play....

As an educator, being Reggio Emilia inspired... I feel I have also taken on the responsibility of ensuring the voice of the child is heard. Today. That they are active and valued participants of society today.
This is why I will protest when children's rights are violated. This is why I will speak out when I feel quality is not what it should be, and that we are capable of providing - we are all in different places in our learning journeys... but being closed to the information that staff and children are not thriving for me is totally unacceptable... especially when delivered with suggestions on how to help both... and I se many many amazing and brave educators striving to make it better for children and colleagues that are not being listened to... because of politics...

Below is a TEDtalk about the danger of a single story... I think EVERY person connected to education should watch this presentation by Chimamanda Adichi



Here are some more links to read on this topic, some by me, and some by others much more knowledgable about education and politics than myself... (in Swedish after the links)

Education Is Always Political
Learning to be Free - a post I wrote, and also got messages about the fact I used the word "occupied" - this is the exact point I am making... some stories will say that Palestine is occupied, others will not... we need to listen to all the stories for people to make their own informed opinion.
Story of a Stone - another post written in Palestine... this time personal stories remind me of the power we have as educators...
A short description of the Reggio Emilia Approach - written by me.
A difficult idea: Public schools are a political place
a paper exploring the socia-political impact of Dewey on Reggio Emilia... democracy as a basis of the pedagogy
New York Times...Reggio Emilia - this looks at the communist/socialist background of the area, briefly
How does political context shape education reforms and their success?
Gunnilla Dahlborg and Peter Moss have written a book called "Ethics and Politics in Early Childhood" - if you care to read more...

PÅ Svenska

Jag är inte en särskilt politisk person ... Jag har sagt detta innan ... och det här är inte ett inlägg om politiken - men det här inlägget berör det faktum att utbildning är en politisk enhet.
Det är genom utbildning att värderingar lärs.
Det är genom utbildning som historien lärs ut ... vad ingår, vad är uteslutet, vad fördomar, vem är berättaren
Det är genom utbildning att barn prioriteras för samhället ... särskilt i standardiserad utbildning där det finns rätt och felaktiga svar, en tonvikt på att fylla barnet med förhandsgodkänd kunskap snarare än att lära barn hur man ska tänka kreativt, kritiskt och empatiskt. .


Reggio Emilia förhållningssätt föddes ur en politisk situation. Några av stadens föräldrar önskade en framtid där deras barn inte bara följde fascistiska ledare men var utrustade för att fatta egna beslut ... för att kunna välja vad är rätt snarare än att bara följa utan fråga. Carlina Rinaldi betonade "hur en lärares arbete ska grundas i politisk tro och förtal." (sid 183, The Hundred Languages ​​of Children, 1998) När jag sa att jag inte är politisk handlar det mer om det faktum att jag inte har hittat en party som jag känner verkligen representerar mig, det känns mer som ett fall att välja det mindre onda. För mig det handlar om mänskligheten - om jämställdhet - om respekt och välbefinnande. Jag tror att det finns många sätt, i många kulturer och många religioner där detta kan uppnås. Jag tror att mänskliga rättigheter och barns rättigheter är goda riktlinjer för hur vi behandlar varandra. Jag menar att var och en av oss vet att regeringar världen över letar efter avkastning på sina "investeringar" i förskolan och skolan. Detta kan ses i läroplanen, i politik - i hur mycket finansiering finns tillgänglig (eller inte) i utbildning. Hur forskning måste ständigt bevisa att det är ekonomiskt värt att investera i de första åren - och lek och akademiska ämne står ofta mot varandra. Eller att prov, böcker, material blir allt mer en del av den ekonomiska sidan av saker snarare än att vara tillgänglig för att stödja barn och lärare i sin lärande resa tillsammans - och oftare är regeringen (politik) inblandad i vilka material används inom förskolan och skolan. Hur utbildas lärarna? Hur mycket som investeras i detta är också ett politiskt beslut.

Men vad vi pedagoger tycker, särskilt de som inspireras av Reggio Emilia, är att barnets röst är det som är det viktigaste. Hur aktiverar vi barnets röst att höras av alla ... speciellt i politiska och sociala klimat som inte värderar barnet så mycket som vi gör? Vilka värderingar vill vi kommunicera med barn? Ofta idag hör jag om "brittiska värden" och "svenska värderingar" och "kristna eller muslimska värderingar" och "make America great again" - men vad betyder alla dessa egentligen? Och är sådana uttalanden inte politiska? Särskilt när ofta används dessa frasar på ett exklusivt sätt. Att vara en brittisk person som har levt hela mitt vuxenliv i Sverige har jag upptäckt att jag är på ett sätt både brittiskt och svenskt men samtidigt ingen av dom. Jag tillbringade sex månader i Australien där jag slutade berättar för folk att jag var brittisk för att jag blev trött av att höra om hur jag var ansvarig för att föra över vissa arter av flora och fauna som skadade den inhemska naturen ... Jag skulle vilja påpeka att jag aldrig har tagit något sådant, och ingen av min familj har emigrerat till Australien ... så jag är ganska säker på att det var förfäderna till folket som anklagade mig ... Men så här fungerar fördomar ... hela historien glöms, bara valda historier upprepas tills de accepteras som sanningen ... det här är politik ... Till exempel Shakespeare-spelet "Richard III" skrevs och utfördes för att bekräfta Tudors rättigheter på tronen ... inte för att det var sanningen, utan att diskreditera kungen som besegrades. Historien var omskriven för politiska ändamål och lärdes därefter efteråt på ett förskjutet sätt ... Precis som vikingarna alltid porträtterades som krigare snarare än de främst bönderna som de var ... pga invaderade/flyttade till länder som hade en skriftlig historia, medan dom nordiska länderna bara hade runor (inte så mycket skrivande dokumentation av sin historia som i motparter i övriga Europa). Om vi ​​tittar igenom tiden och hur vi lärde oss om kroppen och medicinen - kommer vi att finna att det är starkt påverkat av politiken - hysteri är ett medicinskt tillstånd som gjorde att kvinnor kan ses som sämre, svagare ... och många andra medicinska tillstånd som var "skapade" för att tillåta barn-brudar på Romerska tiderna ... Så om fakta är politiskt kontrollerade ... då måste vi acceptera att utbildning också är.

Jag tror att det vi behöver sträva efter är att skapa inlärningsutrymmen som gör det möjligt för barn att vara medvetna om världen och det sammanhang som de bor i ... att vara medveten om att de kan göra val ... att vara medvetna om hur man kan göra informerad val (för mig betyder det att lära sig om alla historier/berättelse och inte en enda historia) - att vara medveten om hur man behandlar andra människor med respekt och att de har rätt att behandlas med respekt själva och att vara medveten om att vi alla har ett ansvar för oss själva, till varandra och den här planet vi lever på ... Jag tror att det här är något som, oavsett var vår politiska anpassning faller, kan vi alla hålla med om ... Problemet är att ibland/ofta är politiken inte alltid anpassad till de mänskliga rättigheterna - eller de är selektiva ... och det här är ett globalt problem. Så, hur förklarar vi att vi, som lärare, att vi arbeta med barn, vi skydda barns rättigheter, vi främjar deras lärande och deras utveckling, vi strävar efter att hålla dem trygga - och ändå kan vi bo i samma land som inte gör detsamma? Hålla vi helt med det samhälle gör? Protesterar vi på att vårt samhälle - värderar dom vår röst och lyssnar? Samtycker vi till alla politiskt beslut? Står vi upp och säger att jag inte accepterar DETTA? Och barnen vi är med varje dag ... fattar vi beslutet att lära dem så att de följer reglerna oavsett vad, för det gör en bra medborgare? eller erbjuda dom möjlighet att ställa frågor och gör det rätta? Hur vet vi vad som är rätt? Vilka värderingar ska vi införa i barnen så att deras moraliska kompass ringar sant? Reggio Emilia-metoden inleddes av en grupp föräldrar som kallade till Malaguzzi för vägledning - så att deras barn skulle ifrågasätta myndighet och inte bara acceptera - men har styrka och mod att göra det rätta. Ur mänsklighetens synvinkel. Så på det här viset är Reggio Emilia pedagogik en politisk rörelse ... och jag tror att många glömmer det när de beskriver estetiken, och fokuserar på materialet snarare än filosofin ...

Därför har jag gillat att använda filosofi med barn - med förskolebarn och skolbarn ... eftersom det har lärt mig, som en lärare (och förälder) att bli en guide, att lyssna snarare än att rikta barnen ... jag är fullständigt medveten om den makt jag har, jag lär mig kontinuerligt om de fördomar och bias som jag bär med mig - som en del av min barndom, den stad jag var uppvuxen i, skolorna, i de erfarenheter jag har haft etc ... och jag försöker utarbeta hur de påverkar barnen och andra runt omkring mig för att ge barnen den frihet de behöver för att kunna göra forma egna åsikter ... hur jag kan leverera information som de behöver för att kunna göra balanserade och informerade val. Filosofi-samtal tillät barnen värdera varandra, värdesätter andras idéer, blir medvetna om att vi alla har olika åsikter och att vi kan diskutera dem med respekt ... att bästa resultat uppnås när vi lyssnar för att förstå och inte bara lyssna för att kunna argumentera tillbaka ... att vara öppen för nya idéer, att byta idéer men också vara sanna mot vad man tycker är rätt, till sina värderingar och för sin sanning kan växa med sina kunskaper och erfarenheter. Vi borde inte stå stilla på ett värde om vi lär oss eller upplever att det är oetiskt eller omänskligt ... vi måste utvecklas ... Historiskt behöver vi bara titta på Kopernicus och Galileo för att se hur komplicerat detta kan vara ... kyrkan tyckte inte om det faktum att vetenskaplig kunskap (på grund av att ny teknik fick se nya saker) innebar att människor hade tillgång till den information som solen inte kretsade runt jorden, men att jorden var en planet av många som snurra runt solen ... Kopernicus förlorade sitt liv ... Galileo drog tillbaka sin forskning - kyrkan höll dock den information som var användbar för att skicka köpmän och var därför användbar för att tjäna pengar - men säkerställde att informationen som hotade sin makt var hållen hemlig från allmänheten. (Min första examen är i historia och antika historia ... det är därför de ständiga referenser till historia ...) Jag är inte en person som tror att vi borde undervisa förskolebarn om höger, och vänster osv ... eller vilka radikaler eller extremister är ... men jag tror att äldre barn måste lära sig allt de kan om vilka olika parties stå för - och även om utrikespolitik ... vår planet är ett gemensamt utrymme ... vad du gör i din del av världen kommer att påverka mig i min del av världen, liksom andra ... Som lärare och som förälder vill jag utrusta mina barn så att de förstår sitt sammanhang, de kan känna en del av det - så att de kan vara ansvariga deltagare. Jag vill att de ska vara omtänksamma och empatiska, jag vill att de ska behandla andra med respekt och kräva att de behandlas med respekt själva. Jag vill att de ska veta att de är en del av hela världen (varför jag började International Fairy Tea Party - så att barn kunde koppla ihop med andra barn runt om i världen ... på sitt eget språk ... lek). Jag vill att de ska känna sig trygga, kunna ställa frågor, känna sig bemyndigade (empowered), känna sig kompetenta, vara medvetna om sina förmågor och deras potential och kunna uppnå sina möjligheter. För att kunna lära och kunna leka.

Alltför ofta för att kunna erbjuda barn ovanstående måste vi bli politiska ... inte alla barn i världen är trygga, inte alla barn har tillgång till utbildning, inte alla barn respekteras, inte alla barn får leka. ... Som en pedagog som inspireras Reggio Emilia ... Jag känner att jag också har ansvarat för att barnets röst hörs. Idag. Att de är aktiva och värderade deltagare i samhället idag. Det är därför jag protesterar när barns rättigheter bryts. Det är därför jag kommer att tala ut när jag tycker att kvalitet inte är vad det borde vara och att vi kan tillhandahålla - vi är alla på olika ställen i våra inlärningsresor ... men om folk/chefer är stängda för information om det finns personal och barn som inte mår bra - är, för mig, helt oacceptabelt ... speciellt när de levereras med förslag på hur man hjälper båda ... och jag ser många många fantastiska och modiga pedagoger som strävar efter att göra det bättre för barn och kollegor som inte lyssnas på ... på grund av politiken ...






Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Second most read on Teachwire

Teachwire have just shared a post with their top 15 most successful education posts - you can check out the post Here - "The Best Education blog posts you can read today"

I feel quite humbled and rather proud that the post I wrote about Reggio Emilia and messy play is their second most read post - and when I see the list of great subjects and read the articles, I feel even more proud to be one of these in the top 15.

Anyway if you missed the post the link gives you the chance to read it... and also access to the other posts that "must be read"