Sunday, 2 June 2013

pedagogical philosophies and methods

Why is it that when you are just about to drop off to sleep you think of the perfect things to write, but you are just too tired to get up and write them down... and then the next day you simply cannot remember that turn of phrase and how ideas linked together...

Anyway I was thinking about writing about schemas and how looking at the patterns of the children's interests can support what activities to provide... for example a child in the middle of a transport schema is not going to be able to learn maths by sitting down... but if the maths is provided by allowing the child to deliver a certain number of blocks across the room and work our how many blocks remain in the wagon/pram/trolley then we are helping the child and supporting the learning in a more meaningful way...

BUT I realised that I do not follow schemas THAT in depth - that in fact I find I do not follow any philosophy or method "in depth"... and this is what I got thinking about last night (I will though get round to schemas one day...)

I have found that I prefer to learn about all sorts of different methods and different philosophies and have them in my "rucksack" waiting for the right moment, the right situation for them to be pulled out and used ...

I want my focus to be the CHILD - and if I put my focus into the method or the philosophy then the child is no longer the focus...

Methods and philosophies are there to guide us, to use as tools so that we can scaffold the child. Maybe it is because I am looking at the child and not the method/philosophy first that I dared to write about templates as a positive part of children's learning and not as an "evil" - BUT only if used as a tool to support the child and not as a method... if I "hear" a child need templates as a sort of "training wheels" to allow confidence before daring to get truly creative on their own - then this is what I will provide... because daring to be creative is what I want to offer them... and not just to dabble with it, but to feel the freedom to totally immerse themselves in it. I am not for templates at all - I find that the pedagogical philosophy I lean on the most is The Reggio Emilia Approach and for me there is not so much room for templates there... but if I choose to listen to the RE Approach and not the child then I feel I am not doing my job properly...

I like the fact the RE is based on listening ... of which I have written about several time before, linking up listening with Reggio Emilia. Listening is also key to philosophy too, and this is why I am so eager to embrace this new method/technique that allows me to support the children by listening to them and supporting them to listen to each other... as well as to express their own ideas and opinions and to learn to see that everyone can have a different perspective...

There are some amazing pedagogical methods and philosophies to read about, to try and are being used around the world... I just hope that these methods do not restrict a pedagogues ability to see the child...
I found I could not work in a Montessori preschool because I was not allowed to follow the children with their need to explore the mats as stepping stones (they were work surfaces only) and that the routines were too arranged by the teacher and not flexible enough (in my eyes)... there are MANY parts of the Montessori method that I think are absolutely wonderful, and I have used the inspiration I gained by working at a Montessori preschool ever since... when the child/ren require it.

As well as RE, Montessori and Schemas I take inspiration from other blogs from around the world...
I have read the EYFS and taken inspiration from there
Developmentally Appropriate Practice
High Scope
Heuristic Play and Treasure Baskets
Gender Studies
Head Start
Theories about Play
Mosaic Approach
Brain Development
Steiner-Waldorf
Special Educational Needs/Rights
Te Whariki
Bank Street
Forest Schools
Swedish curriculum

various papers written by aspiring preschool teachers and peer reviewed thinkers of pedagogy and play from both Sweden and abroad

 there are all the individual thinkers throughout history that influence me too...
Malaguzzi of course, but also David Hawkins and Vygotsky, Comenius, Pestalozzi, Fröbel, Dewey, McMillan sisters, Isaacs, Piaget, Skinner, Erikson etc etc etc there are far to many to really list... they have all had their effect one way or another and they have supplied me with a foundation of understanding... how I apply that understanding is through what method or mix of methods I choose...

and if I am paying close attention - if I am truly listening to the child I will know what method will allow the child to bloom...




1 comment:

  1. Thank you for putting into words how I've been feeling for over a year. If teachers and programs insist on making things so black and white and defined, then often we're not meeting the kids needs. Great post!

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