Thursday, 1 January 2015

2015... a year to listen...

On my personal facebookpage I have changed my photo to reflect my aim for the coming year...
to listen
Not just your everyday listening, but real listening.
Not just listening to answer, but listening to understand
Not just listening to the words, but to the silence, the pauses
Not just listening with my ears, but with the whole of me...
Not just hearing but listening - an active verb - that I want to actively explore this year.



I will start this exploration together with others in an international twitterchat #reggioPLC co-moderating together with Diane Kashin who I stayed with last May in Toronto and learned a great deal by listening to her learning journey so far - she too has started off the year with listening being central in her post entitled "The Pedagogy of Listening" on the blog Technology Rich Inquiry Based Research.

Two years ago I started a facebook group connected to my blog, as a way to interact with others... which became the springboard to starting a page - the group is for sharing my posts, and for others to share inspiring posts too... but have felt it is a place for dialogue while my page feels more like a monologue (although I would much rather it was a dialogue.... feedback is GREAT) where I share posts and images from my own blog but also posts and articles, images and quotes I find inspiring and relevant in my learning journey, and feel maybe they might be for others too - after all we are all in different places in our journeys - mine tends to spiral alot, coming back to the same place over and over again, sometimes with frustration, sometimes with inspiration and occasionally with a feeling of enlightenment - only for it to spiral again...
Every month in the FB group I write a kind of update as to where I am on my journey... sometimes I felt I have should have written it here... but at the same time not... each thought seems to have its place...

BUT this time I share it here too...


2015 has begun... a whole new year ahead of us with many adventures, much playing, messing about and exploring... and many mistakes to learn from...
Last year my wish was to travel... and travel I did... and learn so much as part of those travels... to Toronto where I stayed with Diane and became wiser for every second I was with her as my generous host, and also with the many wonderful people she introduced me to... (and I am VERY excited that she will be coming to see me here in Stockholm this year)
To Boulder, Colorado and to visit Sunflower Preschool Boulder and Boulder Journey School - and their generosity of sharing their way of working with children.
I finished off the year being a part of Play Iceland where I met more educators passionate about play and the early years and also visited settings - Leikskólinn Stekkjarás and Aðalþing Leikskóli that have contributed to my learning journey and my own perspective of children and early years education...
This year I wish to focus on LISTENING.
To get better at it. To deepen my understanding of it... and to be able to listen with more than my ears...

I will also be travelling again... to Palestine later this month as part of a process of early years education centre being made available to the children in the refugee camp in Jenin - Filosofiska together with The Freedom Theatre - I will be in the UK in June giving a keynote talk at an inspiration conference in Durham - and then on to Martha's Vineyard to meet up with Leigh Ann Yuen (its has been a long time of wishing for this meeting) at the amazing Garden Gate Child Development Center - so much learning...
And there are others that will be coming to Filosofiska during the spring to see how we work...
MANY to listen to...
The year will start meeting up with The Freedom Theatre on Monday - and then a few days later the first International Twitterchat on Saturday 10th, co-hosted with Diane... and we will be setting the tone of the year by chatting about LISTENING... the perfect way for me to start my learning journey this year...
HAPPY NEW LEARNING YEAR - may you play well and listen better!!

I am very excited about the prospect of going to Palestine - and very honoured to be a part of this. I feel Listening would be the perfect partner for Play to work with us and the children at the refugee camps there. And that I might also be able to find a new understanding of what listening is and can be.

Right now I want to be as open as possible. That in this new year to look, hear, feel and sense LISTENING afresh - to have the opportunity to see new perspectives without letting go of what I have learned so far.

Hopefully this blog will be able to take you on my learning journey too.

So welcome to 2015.

3 comments:

  1. I look forward to reading more and more about all your listening and journeys. :)

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    1. Thank you Jessica... looking forward to sharing too!!

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  2. I am interested too in listening and in how we sometimes unlisten, both consciously and unconsciously, our self censorship, our awareness and unawareness of dismissing and hearing.

    As part of the Swedish and UK self funded network of schools I work with as Pedagogical Artist/Educator, we have had as a principle this thought below, something we are actively documenting and thinking about. Your post has reminded me of how we need to return to this, especially the bit about listening.

    LISTENING TO THE UNEXPECTED COLLABORATION AND EXCHANGE BETWEEN SENSES, CHILDREN AND PLACES; CONSTRUCTING CONTEXTS THAT ENABLE EXCHANGE BETWEEN IMAGINATION, METAPHOR AND EXPRESSION

    A useful TED talk for those interested in ‘listening’ beyond hearing is by the percussionist Evelyn Glennie, who describes how she listens and learnt to listen to become a percussionist. She is deaf, and talks therefore of a physicality of listening. I found it interesting both in terms of her, her music and of course in challenging what it means ‘to listen’.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/evelyn_glennie_shows_how_to_listen?language=en

    I am also thinking about listening as a way of going beyond the superficiality, the generalist, the ‘normalising’ ways that we sometimes categorise or describe children. Listening for me is about a search for understanding of children’s intense methods of making meaning, listening for the unexpected, listening for the unknown, the new ideas. For me to listen is always in a symbiotic relationship with to act. To act is to chose what to do next, to make an offer, to generate a context and comes out of the interpretation of what has been listened to with all of ones body.

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