Soledad is the director of the preschool, and I have worked with her before and is one of the big influential people in my life. How I am as an educator now has without a doubt been influenced by her. I remember so well the meetings where we discussed pedagogical documentation, the children, our roles... and for the first time felt truly liberated in exploring these ideas... for the first time felt it was allowed not to have to agree with the others, but to be encouraged to have your own opinions and to understand them and to share them with others. To connect theory to practice. To connect practice to theory. To explore.
She is four years in to her role as director at Aspen... a place that strives to create a democratic approach to learning... and is on their journey to that. As Soledad says, we want to be more than just beautiful environments - we need to connect the third teacher to the teachers - the outcome aims to the projects etc...
it is a preschool with ambition.
Here are a few of the photos from the preschool to inspire you.
|challenging the idea of what materials can be made available to the very youngest children in preschool (1-3yr olds)
|a low table filled with loose parts to tantalise the senses
|introducing colour to the youngest
|one of the construction areas for the youngest
|clay area... a clay table was found in every department regardless of age
|digital and light and nature
|nature atelier... ateliers do not have to be for art alone
|another construction area
|light shadow and UV light exploration room... a small walk in cupboard that has been converted
|a detail from the digital atelier... a space shared by the four and five year olds - small word story making... using film camera, i-motion etc... depending on how the child wants to tell/communicate the story
|another detail from the digital atelier... the idea is to explore the world by mixing digital and analogue
|here you can see how the small world area connects to a screen - so that the children's filmed stories can be shared live if they want to
|a panarama of the room... it also includes a shadow puppet space and also a stage with the possibility of a green screen - the idea is that story telling and exploration can happen in many ways
|paper, paint and the more traditional approach to an atelier
|two small low tables set up with magnetic sculpture and also temporary art with loose parts... this is a part of a larger room, where the children were busy and I did not want to photo them
|part of the dinosaur project
|construction with dinosaurs making themselves known!