There was lots to see, to read... and there were plenty of staff available to interact with too...
You can find out more about the exhibition here in English Reggio Children - Border Crossings
or in Swedish here... Haninge the host of the exhibition right now..
I prefer the Swedish description of the exhibition where it explains it is about the journey children and educators made together exploring nature and the digital world... this is what I expected when I got there and this is what I saw... when I returned I looked up what Reggio Emilia had written about it... and I felt less connection - maybe because I was mentally tired, or maybe because it was more "beautifully" phrased rather than connected to the people it is about... children and educators. I am not sure why there tends to be this need to make project titles so fancy or explanations sound like prose... maybe its supposed to elevate the whole status of what children are learning... personally I always feel that is kind of distances it from the children with these adult labels... but that is just my personal opinion (I still think they sound amazing, I just find the connection to the children more distanced).
Anyway I went there together with Eva Tuvhav Gullberg who works at the amazing Sensory Lab I have written about at Överby Preschool in Vaxholm... as I have learned that it is of great benefit to go with someone and learn from their perspective through dialogue and shared experience... and Eva is an inspirational person and I feel fortunate to have visited with her.
Nettan Taberman (Haninge Preschools) met us there, she has had an active part in setting up the exhibition and it was an absolute joy to be shown around and gain further insights by her explaining the processes of the set up - and all the learning the educators were involved in to bring the exhibition to Haninge...
Yes, the exhibition was great to visit. BUT in the end it is the people that make it amazing. Nettans energy and passion filled every corner of that exhibition for me... I let myself see it through her eyes... the pride, the joy and the wonder of learning shone through. We asked questions, we interacted with the materials... but just like in preschool settings it is the interactions between the people that is essential.
It made me think if Hawkin's I, Thou, It (you can read more about the theory here at The Hawkins Center webbpage)
The importance is that all three meet - that it is not just two people trying to learn about something that does not interest them, or only interests one of them... and also that the relationship between the I and the thou is genuine - then real learning can happen.
For me at the exhibition I knew i would find the materials exciting, and I knew Eva would too, but what made this experience so special is that Eva and I were the "i" and Nettan was the "thou" and her connection to us and to the materials was passionate, genuine and reflective - this meant the whole experience was so much more enjoyable and so much the richer and deeper for it.
So here are a few photos until I have time to unpack more thoughts about this Border Crossing - and my heartfelt thanks to Eva and Nettan for feeding my mind with such wonders and treasures I can feast upon for some time...
In the next post about this exhibition I will explore the title and how it impacted me as I went round the exhibition.