Saturday, 30 June 2018

The Benefits of BIG play

I have regular contact with the educators from Jenin, Palestine - sometimes to ask about things, sometimes to share what they have been doing, and sometimes just to say hello, how are you doing?

Yesterday I received a series of photos of children playing on old tires and the comment that she (the educator) had been preparing the setting as the children arrived, but the children came and took over... and the surprise to see them playing, learning and enjoying themselves despite her concern.
We have talked a lot about risky play and the benefits this has for children's ability to do their own risk assessments, rather than being dependant on an adult to judge what is safe - of course we do not want to expose them to danger, only to situations that allow them to learn - a small scratch or bruise will not hurt much or for long but can provide an enormous lesson for the child about what is safe and what is not... and how much their own body is capable of.

I also got to watch some films of the play sessions.. which I will not show here, and although I am not particularly good at Arabic (its words rather than full sentences) I was able to pick out the "careful" was being said many times.

BIG play like this is a test for the adults just as much as the children. What are WE capable of allowing the children to experiment with themselves before we come and wrap them in cotton wool. I think it is a human instinct to want to protect our children... but sometimes too much protection can mean we send them out into the world unprepared. We have to learn balance.

In the photos below we can see some of the learning that is going on (I am of course privvy to more photos and films, the teachers there were able to see even more of the action, play and learning)

The learning that I can see is that the children are learning how to interact together... the films in particular showed how stacking the tires was hard for one person to do, they needed to collaborate, together they are stronger. They learned about physics - how the wheels moved, which directions and movements made it easier to move them around, which directions were harder, they learned about gravity and stability. Maths comes into it... how many tires can they manage to stack, how many is possible before it becomes unstable, if they are making stacks of three then they can start thinking about their three times table... multiplication - three towers of three are nine tires... all of this is happening naturally in their play. Since the tires are painted they can think of patterns and design.

Then there is the physical learning - the children strengthen their hands and arms... to be able to hold a pen to write children need to to have the muscle strength... BIG play allows the WHOLE body to be strengthened - because reading and writing (what many traditionally see as "learning" ) requires a child to be able to sit at a desk and hold their pen and concentrate... this big play is giving them the training they need to be able to do that... and even when in school this kind of BIG play is still needed to maintain muscle and concentration - we all know that if we stop training or stop speaking a language that we become less good at it, or weaker... it is the same with learning... too much focus on academic learning means that the whole child's needs are not being met... PLAY is essential for all ages to ensure there is the physical and mental well-being to learn - and also as you have just read above, learning is also happening in play.
Far too often there is an intense focus on forcing the child to sit, be quiet, and learn certain things in a certain way - learning is much more complex than that.
There is a phrase/word in Swedish called "studiero" which translates to study peace... ie there is peace in the classroom to be able to learn.
The thing is that this is being interpreted as being quiet... that children need to sit in silence or use hushed voices to be able to learn. And I seriously question this... is learning always quiet?
my experience is that it can be all sort of things... sometimes it is total silence as the children are fully engaged/mesmerised - other times it is extremely noisy as the children explore, discover and are excited about the learning. Sometimes learning happens individually and requires a muted space while other times it is in groups and is a lively dialogue, or even at times a heated one... As teachers/educators we need to be aware that we are creating learning spaces - this is not the same as "learning peace". We need to be aware that children not only learn in different ways from each other... they also need, on an individual basis, a varied learning diet. Sitting at a desk learning by listening only to the teacher and repeating what the teacher says is like eating only boiled rice and beans every day... yes, you can survive on it, it gives you energy and nutrients - but after a while you become disinterested in it, especially when you can see all around you other options. We need to give children a varied learning diet... and this means generous servings of play... the WHOLE child. My posts on Original Learning will describe in more detail how learning and play are woven together and should not be separated.

What do we want for our children?
What IS it we want them to learn... to achieve? What does the future hold for them? And how is school actually preparing them for that? By giving them the same skills we got last century? or by giving them the skills they need to look forward, imagine and solve the potential problems of tomorrow?
As Einstein said -

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand." Schools trades in knowledge... what is already known... and yes this is useful, but it is only part of the story. Children need imagination... and that is best supported by play...

I have been reading Alison Gopnik over the last few days about how the very youngest children learn - the importance of play, the importance of interaction and the importance of the adult actually understanding how children learn rather than just filling them with information and sticking to what has always been done.

BIG play allows the whole child to learn... their entire body becomes involved. Mixed ages in this big lay allows the children to learn about taking care of each other, it also allows the youngest children who maybe do not have the muscle strength yet to participate in all of the play, the chance to observe and develop strategies - by watching they can see the interactions of others, they access social learning, they also get to observe the materials - science, technology, maths all of these can be observed. By interacting with each other the children are developing the language skills, by constructing together they are learning how to communicate spatial awareness, make predictions with each other and test them out... these are science experiments - what works what does not work.

BIG play also lets the child to enjoy themselves... and in this joy it is easier to feel safer, to connect with others and also to learn. As Malaguzzi said "Nothing without joy". We do not have to make learning fun... what we need to do is awaken the joy within each child to learn. Play is a fabulous way to awaken that joy... play is exploring, experimenting, testing, discovering, repeating, developing etc etc...

The adult needs to take a step back and allow uninterrupted play. Observe. Is there anything the children need to develop their play further... can this be provided in a story read later, or by offering small blacks to build with, or by asking some questions, or maybe showing  a small film to stimulate their construction.
The teacher invites the child to try something new, or provokes the group into thinking deeper... and then gives the children the space to test out the new and the deeper thoughts.

My time working with 8-13 year olds allowed my to understand that children appreciate learning from each other... they appreciate being trusted as competent... they appreciate being supported by educators who provide them with information, ways to find information and activities that allow them to discover learning so much more than sitting in a room having to just accept what a teacher says.
They want to learn with, talk with the teacher... not be talked at.

useful links
Peter Gray - Risky Play... Freedom to learn
The importance of outdoor play
Original Learning - my blog
Play spaces and play - giving children the freedom to play (my blog)
redefining play and education - we need to look at what the words mean
Malaguzzis three children - what kind of teacher are YOU... how do YOU view the child?
Together play - learning together by playing together
Purposeful play
Climbing Trees- to do not not to do - risky play

This is not an exhaustive list of links... there is much to read about the benefits of play, or risky play and outdoor play.
Also the above does not list everything that can be learned through play...

 with thanks to Suzan for the permission to use the photographs
you can find out more about her preschool "Best Of" early years center, Jenin, Palestine  by checking out their facebook page (click the link, which is the name above) - they are a setting that is striving to create  a place for children to learn through play, which is not a common feature of the local area where learning is very much seen as academic and rote.
So a huge applause I sen to them for their efforts to create the best learning environment for children, so that the children are ready with mind and body to face whatever the future holds for them. They do this despite not all understand the importance of play and put pressure on them to teach the way it has always been done.
Its not easy to do what is right... we have to be BRAVE.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

The story of Intolerance

In America at the moment it is Pride month...
It will be Pride month here in Sweden in August...

Pride did not start as a big party... it started as a protest against the abuse, the prejudice and the hate - it was an event to stand up and say "here we are... we are human..."

There are many around the world that choose not to accept people in the HBTQ community (in Sweden it is H and not LG - and I really prefer that we do not have to divide it into genders... H is more inclusive) - because they have been raised to believe it is wrong and a sin. And that sits in their core.

In the last two days in the Facebook Group "The Reggio Emilia Approach" several dialogues have had to be shut down due to the fact that a few people shared their opinions that they felt HBTQ was wrongful, that it should not be included in any way in preschool/school (especially preschool) and despite loving all people felt it was inappropriate to share this love with some communities or about them.
There is an unawareness that this is prejudice... that this is conditional love (I will only show it if you behave in a certain way)...

Then there are those who fight passionately for the HBTq community - or are a part of the community and carry so much pain and hurt from how others have treated them or loved ones. This can make it hard to share with others the information that they might be needing... the wrong information, in the wrong way is supplied and the leap is too great to make... instead defences are put up to explain why the leap is not being taken.

Then there are those who mean well, but just do not know enough about it, or are misinformed - and are maybe over zealous when approaching this topic with young children... then these situations are brought up as to why we should not "teach" about HBTq because of  a few mistakes...

Learning is about mistakes... we ALL have to make mistakes to be able to learn... but if we are all made to feel that we have to hide mistakes then we lose these opportunities to learn and improve and make our world a better place.
School is very much a place of right and wrong answers... it takes time to detox from that approach too.

My time in Palestine made me realise the importance of listening...
I have written about this before, and I have spoken to several about it too, as it had such a HUGE impact on me, not only as an educator but as a human.
The group of educators hit the children as a correctional tool - as just about every other educator (and parent does) - this was enormously hard for me to deal with, but I also knew that if I came in with a so called higher moral pathway that it would reduce my chances of being able to reach out to them. I had to back down from everything I thought I knew, to be open to how they understood the world, learning, children and play... and to work from that

In the exact same way I work with children according to the Reggio Emilia Approach - the pedagogy of listening.

After knowing the women for four months (two trips and almost daily contact online) the time came to be able to talk about what I wanted to from the start... stop hitting children...
They asked ME - how can we stop the children hitting each other... I answered "I don't think it helps that you hit the children"
They answered, "But we don't hurt them, it is just so they learn" and I answered "yes, I see the children using that strategy too... trying to "teach" their friends and that they see if adults can do it, then why not children"
My daughter was with me at the time and they turned to her and asked her if I had ever hit her. She looked shocked and said no. All the women where mothers and all thought my daughter was polite, respectful, intelligent etc and they were surprised that she could be like that without being hit.
They had never seen an alternative.
Afterwards I went out with one of the women and her daughter into town. Her daughter has issues with white matter on her brain which means that it has affected her development and learning. She suddenly swayed out into the road, the mother lifted her arm to hit her to correct her, looked at me, put her arm down and then saw how her daughter self corrected. The mother was amazed... that her daughter could self correct like that was something she had never seen, because she had always been controlled.
It was a powerful moment for her, and myself.

But it also proved to me that we cannot force feed ideas and opinions on others - we need to be aware of how to present ideas and when to present them so that they will be accepted. Because really what we want is to create a more accepting world. We cannot force feed opinions no matter how healthy or important they are. This is not the same as accepting hate speech. We all need to say no to what is hurting others and to make them aware that what you say is hurting... but it has to be done in a meaningful way, so that they can see the impact...
Saying that "your words make me feel scared" in a dialogue on facebook when all parties do not know each other and live far away from each other is not concrete enough. It does not enable the person to comprehend how their words impact another.
Facebook is great for many things but some dialogues are just hard online. And its not always a place to build trust, and the kind of trust we need to change core values is huge. And sometimes I think people who are fighting for HBTq rights don't always fully appreciate that... and it feels like they are expecting a person to jump from one core value to another due to a few sentences pitched at them, in often a offensive way (because they are fighting for rights) which then puts the person into a defensive position.
And once in a defensive position they either will stop listening and only repeat what they know, or retreat and not listen. Neither is good. If we want to make change and make our world more inclusive for all, make it safer for everyone then we need to be communicating with everyone...
why are some people core values excluding others... what will happen to them if they change their core value. Why do they feel keeping their core value is important? Why are they not open to other opinions? Why do they not see how their opinion impacts others? How can we help them see that?

This is not overnight fixes. This is an approach that requires time and space, trust and love.
Most people tend to hang out with like-minded people... so within our social groups it can be hard to find the people that can help us broaden our perspectives.

I am happy to say that by far the largest majority of my friends are people who accept diversity - and proud to say that there are many that actively make a stand for minorities and groups that experience the negative backlash of bias and prejudice. REALLY PROUD that I have people like this at my side around the world.

I have raised my children to be accepting. I wanted them to be open and I wanted to normalise things that were outside the norm. This meant that at the age of 12-13 my daughters were shocked at a school lesson on sex education to hear the prejudice, that bad words that many in their class were using when HBTq issues were raised. They had never even considered that this was different, just simply a part of the great diversity of life.

I also see this prejudice against children with autism, ADHD,  etc etc ... where they do not fit the norm, and there seems an unwillingness to allow them to be a part of an expanded norm - its always special rights or special needs... which irritates me... we need to make an inclusive space where all can be... but that is a whole other dialogue.

But I raised it because we need to think that we can't try to normalise one group without normalising the others... we are all human. We all need to be treated humanely and we can't exclude people just because they are not approved by a religion or culture. And I am not talking about people who harm other people, I am only talking about people who live their lives respectfully alongside others but just differently from the norm...

The member of the group that was upset with the idea of teaching about Pride in preschools left the group with a final post...
this post saddened me... as in the post was this person who was not understanding what the others were talking about, her core values were strong in the belief that HBTq community was wrong... but there was also a desire to love all people. She was not connecting the dots - and the responses she got put her into a defensive position instead of a position where she could connect the dots from her core values to love for all.
Yes, It was inappropriate to leave the group with such a post and not deal with it... but maybe that was a good thing because I feel quite ashamed of many of the comments - they were not there to support a person in their learning journey, only there to point out she was wrong. This is not helpful.
And that SO many kept on doing it, even after some people were commenting on the fact that maybe that was not the way to go - especially when you could see that the person  was no longer a member and was no longer addressing the situation, so why the continuation of personal attacks?

I am going to take down the threads, BUT in the thread connected with THIS post I would like resources for reading that can support diversity of ALL manners. That support educators in understanding anti-bias, that support educators to look at our social norms and how to make them more inclusive for everyone...
No dialogue - I will delete all dialogue... ONLY links.
If you wish to comment on this post... please do that in this blog, write a comment here instead.

Below are a series of quotes that speak to me in this context... I hope they can speak and inspire you as you reflect on this topic. We need to learn from each other. We need to be open. We also need to understand how our own words and opinions impact others.

me, yesterday, just before I left home to stand outside the American Embassy here in Stockholm to protest against the humanity of how children and families are being treated at USA borders. I would like to point out there are many children suffering in the world... far too many.

this is why I believe it is important that we create open and inclusive environments with even the youngest children... so that we expand the norm, rather than perpetuate it

maybe one of the hardest things to do

sometimes things are going to be said that you don't agree with, and you can feel frustrated... but once you start talking from anger then the chance for learning is reduced.

this has been my motto for the last 6 years... it has helped me SO much.

listening is so important

yes, we will offend each other at times, but hopefully not intentionally, but if we are always scared of offending people because we have different opinions then we are not free. This is not a free card to be rude... it is the fact some people are offended by different opinions.

this is my new year message... but I felt it suited being here today.

equality brings more freedom

if we are being competitive then of course part of the process will be making other lesser than yourself... But if we are creating community of learners then we can create better learning environments and more acceptance
standard testing and the competitive nature of schools is not healthy

there in not name attached to this quote... because it is a quote by me.
Please comment here about this post if you feel the need to...
please share resources, articles and book suggestions etc in "The Reggio Emilia Approach" facebook group.

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Scaffolding Inquiry

(På svenska efter bilderna)

We often talk about engaging children in inquiry, learning through projects... but what does all this mean?

what is an inquiry when talking about education?

inquiry means - the act of asking questions... and also an inquiry is an official attempt to discover the facts about something.

This means we need to start with curiosity.
How do we get the children intrigued? How do we get them to ask questions? Most children are very capable of asking questions... but not always in a school environment. So I think there needs an open and safe environment for the children to feel brave enough to ask questions... as once they get started more and more will come.

What I find is that engaging children means we also need to empower them. Not many children are going to immerse themselves in an inquiry of the teacher is holding too firmly onto the reigns... where is the space and time for the children's questions, the children's ideas... and inquiry means handing over the power to allow the children to explore idea and questions...

this means there needs to be time for the children to...

  • find information
  • reform questions
  • test out ideas
  • experiment
  • dialogue
  • gain experience
  • use their whole bodies (there is not one way to inquire, learn)
  • make mistakes
  • reflect
  • collate and display their ideas
  • work as a community of learners
This is not an exhaustive list.

I found that working philosophically with children is an excellent way to fuel inquiry. it not only allows the children space to participate it also gives the educator time to practice relinquishing power. To learn how to be a facilitator/guide rather than an instructor.
If we want the children to inquire, we need to be handing over some of the classroom power to the children/students.

My work with Gästrike Water Authority and the Board of Children has allowed me to see that this is a method that works with all ages. I have seen it work with preschoolers ages 1-6 - and now with 8-13 year olds. The exact same approach of respect, guiding and supporting the children to participate. It is about scaffolding the children in this process... not just handing them the power, but giving it to them as they are ready... providing activities that allow them to develop the skills and the confidence they need to take responsibility for the direction of their learning - together.
In the last session before the summer the board members evaluated their time together on the board - and they were all really pleased, stating that they were able to learn from each other, that it felt motivating to be taken seriously, that it was not just listening to a teacher talking at them... but here they talked with each other. They all valued that every member in the board could bring something valuable to the dialogue, that they could learn from each other and also teach each other.

My observations of the group saw that the children went from trying to answer questions the way they thought the adults would want them, to offering suggestions and asking more questions and thinking more about where to get the information from. I included a lot of hands-on activities - both experiments and also artistic activities... in part to mix science and art, in part to allow the children to experience water and gain the knowledge they needed for dialogue and in part to create a sense of community... which is so important when it comes to real genuine dialogue. That sense of community, that sense of trust is so essential to dare to explore ideas, share thinking and dare to make mistakes in front of each other as a step in learning and not something to be ashamed of.

David Hawkins "I -Thou -It" is also an essential part of inquiry... the teacher and the learner need to be interested and motivated by the it... the project or the line of inquiry. There needs to be genuine interest. If it is not meaningful then it is not going to be easy to motivate the learners.
This does not mean you have to do lots of mini projects... it can mean that you need to ensure that what you are doing is meaningful... and that it is accessible to all the children... that all 100 languages are being used to inquire, not just a few high status "academic" languages.

Inquiry implies risk. As a teacher you need to hand over power to the students, you are never entirely sure of the direction the inquiry will take - and you need to be prepared for this, be open to this possibility of new direction. It can mean that topics that make you fell uncomfortable get taken up - death etc... and you need to open your mind that the children/learners have a need to explore this but not from your adult perspectives.

I will never forget showing a group of 4-6 year olds some images of places where children sleep around the world... images of luxury and images of absolute poverty - and asked where the children would like to sleep.
The majority of the children chose the image of a scruffy, old sofa outside - to me it was an image of extreme poverty and misery... but the children saw adventure and beauty... I had to hide my surprise to listen to what the children had to say... not to say they were wrong, but to listen to the fact that they could see something I could not. Of course, we did explain to the children about the real life situation of the children that would sleep there, something the children had no knowledge of and had of course not impacted their choice.
Another dialogue about playing war lead to the fact that the children liked that game because it involved physical contact and the children liked the hugging part of the game - they were not fighting, it was a way to explore physical contact - certainly eye opening information for me. We have to always be aware of our own adult bias as we look at children's play... and give space for them to help us understand better what the real learning and intentions and thoughts are. This is why and inquiry is about collaboration... about children/students and teachers working together to discover more.

As educators we need to launch a project/inquiry and see if it is something that will capture the interest and curiosity of the group... once that spark happens it is about enabling the children to keep adding fuel to the inquiry fire... fanning those flames.

With young children we did the research together... it was very much a collaboration, and if we needed to look up information I would do that (as there is some pretty questionable things out there online that I feel children need protecting from) - they see the process, they give me words and ideas of what to look for and I show them the results, once I have checked quickly that they are age appropriate.

With older children then there is more freedom for them to do this part themselves. And as they are writers and readers by this age I also encourage to get in touch with experts - at first together, and as they gain more competence in this skill I pull down the scaffolding for them to get on with it themselves... always close by, but not too close.

Topics that I have found really good for inquiry over the years...
Leonardo da Vinci was great... because he did so many things, from art, to science, engineering, technology, and also philosophy and philanthropy... he thought up ideas that were not possible at the time... which is great for exploring with children with an unknown future ... what will the future be like, what do you think you could invent that cannot be made now, but maybe in the future?
History, architecture, food, language, the whole curriculum was covered... I was hoping for bridges but the children took it in the direction of robotics which we explored with our whole bodies and minds and cross-curricula.
Dinosaurs is another favourite, and with most ages to (my 14 year old is still very much into dinosaurs) again, looking at time, discovering nature, looking at fossils and bones (and thinking about our own bones and how we are made), exploring vulcanoes, comets etc... reflecting on what they ate and how they lived, why some animals survived, what animals today look like dinosaurs etc... then recent films like Jurassic World can get us thinking about what would happen if dinosaurs lived now, how would we treat them, do we have the right to bring them back to life through genetic engineering etc - this is just the start... the children/students can take you in many directions
Local community - I did a "Together on the Square" project with a group of preschoolers, where the children designed a square where we could all meet... this lasted for 6 months and we took the time to interview families, people who lived in the retirement home etc... the children kept rethinking what they needed on the square to make it inclusive for everyone. I think learning about your own local community is important, getting to know the people, and being an active part in it is empowering for the children. Especially the younger ones. We drew a lot of maps in the beginning, before starting to draw plans... their skills needed to be scaffolded... so maps with a route to how they got to preschool, which we had on paper, made into 3D with loose parts, followed to their doorstep. The children learned about each other, it created the sense of community we needed to pursue other ideas, it allowed the children to see how some lived close and others further away, how some lived next door to each other, and that some had two homes. 
Magic/fairies etc the realm of magic can be a fun way to explore with young children...and there are many older children reading science fiction books - so incorporating fantasy into the reality around the children allows you to see things with new eyes. The fairy projects (As part of International Fairy Tea Party) has allowed us to re-look at nature in search for signs of fairies and the very small. Exploring magical powers has been a great way to  explore responsibility... if you had a super power or magic power what would you do with it? Books like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson or Magnus Chase would allow you to explore magic and myth in the context of today...
Water is what we have been exploring with Gästrike Water Authority, naturally, and have explored how it is cleaned, our human impact, responsibility, properties, sustainability developing ways to share this information with others etc. As I wrote above... it has been about balancing hands on experiences, with dialogues and facts... allowing the children to share the knowledge they possessed with each other, encouraging them to find out more, and helping them with sources of information when they needed it or asked for it.

In Palestine I presented the educators there books without texts... the idea was that they could be used to provoke their thinking. The books were a spark for inquiry. Looking at the books with new eyes, and not just as a product for a story - but as a source of possibilities. The teachers could see there was the potential to explore and inquire many ideas in the book... the images encouraged dialogue, science explorations, art etc 

An inquiry must start with curiosity. You must get the learners intrigued. The group must have a sense of community to be able to work together.

For me this is a natural approach within "Original Learning" the whole child, many langiages, play and learning mixed together.

(links to further reading after the Swedish text below)

Vi pratar ofta om att engagera barn igenom "inquiry" förfrågan/undersökning, lära sig genom projekt ... men vad betyder allt detta? Vad är en undersökning när man talar om utbildning? "INQUIRY" betyder - handlingen att ställa frågor ... och även en Inquiry/utredning är ett officiellt försök att upptäcka fakta om något. Det betyder att vi måste börja med nyfikenhet. Hur får vi barnen fascinerad? Hur får vi dem att ställa frågor? De flesta barn är mycket kapabla att ställa frågor ... men inte alltid i en skolmiljö. Så jag tror att det behövs en öppen och trygg miljö för att barnen ska känna sig modiga nog att ställa frågor ... när dom kommer igång blir det lättare att ställa fler frågor. Vad jag tycker är att för att engagera barn måste vi också bemyndiga (empower) dom. Inte många barn kommer att fördjupa sig i en förfrågan om läraren håller för hårt på tyglarna... var finns utrymme och tid för barnens frågor, barnens idéer ... och en undersökning innebär att överlämna makten för att tillåta barnen utforskar idé och frågor ... det betyder att det måste finnas tid för barnen att ...
  • hitta information
  • omformulera frågor
  • testa idéer
  • experimentera
  • dialog
  • få erfarenhet
  • använd hela kroppen (det finns inte ett sätt att fråga, lära)
  • gör misstag
  • reflektera
  • samla och visa sina idéer
  • arbeta som en grupp av elever
Detta är inte en uttömmande lista. Jag upptäckte att en filosofiskt arbetssätt med barn är utmärkt att driva undersökningar (inquiries). Det tillåter inte bara barnen utrymme att delta, det ger också pedagogen tid att träna en avstående kraft. Att lära sig att vara en facilitator /guide snarare än en instruktör. Om vi ​​vill att barnen ska fråga, måste vi överlämna en del av klassrummets makt till barnen/eleverna. Mitt arbete med Gästrikevatten och Barnstyrelsen har gjort det möjligt för mig att se att det här är en metod som fungerar med alla åldrar. Jag har sett det fungera med förskolebarn i åldrarna 1-6 - och nu med 8-13-åringar. Exakt samma tillvägagångssätt för respekt, vägledning och stöd för barnen att delta. Det handlar om ställningar (scaffolding) för barnen i den här processen ... inte bara ger dom makten, utan ger den när dom är redo ... ger aktiviteter som gör det möjligt för barnen att utveckla dom färdigheter och det förtroende dom behöver för att ta ansvaret för riktningen av deras lärande - tillsammans. I den sista samtal före sommaren utvärderade styrelseledamöterna (barnen) sin tid tillsammans i styrelsen - och dom var alla mycket nöjda och uppgav att dom kunde lära av varandra, att dom kände sig motiverade av att bli seriöst bemött. Dom värderade att varje medlem i styrelsen kunde ge något värdefullt för dialogen, att de kunde lära av varandra och också lära varandra. Mina observationer från gruppen såg att barnen gick från att försöka svara på frågor som dom trodde att vi vuxna skulle vilja ha, till att erbjuda förslag och ställa fler frågor och tänka mer om var dom ska få informationen från. Jag inkluderade många praktiska aktiviteter - både experiment och även konstnärliga aktiviteter ... delvis för att blanda vetenskap och konst, delvis för att låta barnen uppleva vatten och få den kunskap dom behövde för dialog och delvis för att skapa en känsla av gemenskap ... vilket är så viktigt när det gäller verklig äkta dialog. Den känslan av gemenskap, den känslan av förtroende är så viktigt att våga utforska idéer, dela tänkande och våga göra misstag framför varandra som ett steg i lärande och inte något att skämmas över.

David Hawkins "I-Thou -It" är också en viktig del av "inquiry"/undersökningen ... läraren och eleven måste vara intresserade och motiverade av det ... projektet eller undersökningen. Det måste vara äkta intresse. Om det inte är meningsfullt är det inte lätt att motivera eleverna. Det betyder inte att du måste göra många mini-projekt ... det kan innebära att du måste se till att det du gör är meningsfullt ... och att det är tillgängligt för alla barn ... att alla 100 språk används för att utforska, inte bara några högsta "akademiska" språk. Undersökning innebär risk. Som lärare behöver du överlämna makten till eleverna, du är aldrig helt säker på vilken väg undersökningen tar - och du måste vara förberedd för detta, vara öppen för denna möjlighet till ny riktning. Det kan innebära att ämnen som får dig att bli obehagliga dyka upp - döden etc ... och du måste öppna ditt sinne om att barnen/eleverna behöver utforska detta men inte från dina vuxna perspektiv. Jag kommer aldrig glömma när jag visade en grupp 4-6 åringar några bilder av platser där barn sover över hela världen ... bilder av lyx och bilder av absolut fattigdom - och frågade vart barnen skulle vilja sova. Majoriteten av barnen valde bilden av en gammal soffa utomhus - för mig var det en bild av extrem fattigdom och elände ... men barnen såg äventyr och skönhet ... Jag var tvungen att gömma min förvåning att lyssna på vad barnen sade... att undvika säga att dom hade fel, för att lyssna på det faktum att de kunde se något jag inte kunde. Självklart förklarade vi för barnen om den reella livssituationen för dom barn som skulle sova där, något som barnen inte kände till och hade naturligtvis inte påverkat deras val. En annan dialog om att leka krig leder till det faktum att barnen tyckte om det eftersom det innebar fysisk kontakt och barnen tyckte om den kramande delen av leken - de kämpade inte, det var en väg att utforska fysisk kontakt - det var ögonöppnande information för mig. Vi måste alltid vara medvetna om vår egen vuxna bias när vi tittar på barnens lek ... och ge utrymme för oss att förstå bättre vad det verkliga lärandet och avsikterna och tankarna är. Det är därför undersökningar handlar om samarbete ... om barn/studenter och lärare som arbetar tillsammans för att upptäcka mer. Som pedagoger behöver vi lansera ett projekt/undersökning och se om det är något som kommer att fånga intresset och nyfikenheten hos gruppen ... när gnistan händer handlar det om att barnen får fortsätta att lägga till bränsle till undersökning-elden ... och fläktar dessa flammor.

Med yngre barn gjorde vi forskningen tillsammans ... det var väldigt mycket samarbete, och om vi behövde leta upp information skulle jag göra det (eftersom det finns några ganska tvivelaktiga saker där ute som jag tycker att barn behöver skyddas ifrån) dom ser processen, dom ger mig ord och idéer om vad man ska leta efter och jag visar dom resultaten, när jag väl har kontrollerat att dom är lämpliga. Med äldre barn är det mer frihet för dem att göra den här delen själv. Och eftersom dom kan skriva och läsa i denna ålder uppmuntrar jag också att komma i kontakt med experter - först ihop och när dom får mer kompetens i denna färdighet drar jag ner ställningarna (scaffolding) för att dom ska kunna klara sig själva ... alltid nära, men inte för nära. Ämnen som jag upptäckte var riktigt bra som undersökning under åren inkludera ... Leonardo da Vinci var bra ... för att han gjorde så många saker, från konst till vetenskap, teknik, och filosofi och filantropi ... han tänkte på idéer som inte var möjliga på den tiden ... vilket är bra för att utforska med barn med en okänd framtid ... hur kommer deras framtid att vara, vad tror barnen att amn kan uppfinna som inte kan göras nu, men kanske i framtiden? Historia, arkitektur, mat, språk, hela läroplanen var täckt ... Jag hoppades på broar men barnen tog det i riktning mot roboten som vi undersökte med hela våra kroppar och sinnen och läroplaner. Dinosaurier är en annan favorit, och med de flesta åldrarna (min 14 år gamla son är det fortfarande väldigt mycket dinosaurier) igen,man kan tittar på tiden/historia, upptäcker naturen, tittar på fossiler och ben (och tänker på våra egna ben och kropp) utforska vulkaner, kometer etc ... reflekterar över vad dom åt och hur dom levde, varför några djur överlevde, vilka djur idag ser ut som dinosaurier etc ... då kan nya filmer som Jurassic World få oss att tänka på vad som skulle hända om dinosaurier levde nu, hur skulle vi behandla dem, har vi rätt att få dom till liv genom genteknik etc - det här är bara början ... barnen/eleverna kan ta dig i många riktningar - vilken färg är dom, hur vet vi, vad behöver vi för verktyg osv Lokalsamhället - Jag gjorde ett "Tillsammans på torget" -projekt med en grupp förskolebarn där barnen utformade en torg där vi alla skulle kunna träffas ... det varade i 6 månader och vi tog tid att intervjua familjer, människor som bodde i äldreboendet etc ... barnen omprövade vad de behövde på torget för att göra det inklusive för alla. Jag tycker att det är viktigt att lära sig om sitt eget lokalsamhälle, att lära känna folket, och att vara en aktiv del i det. Vi tittade på och ritade många kartor i början innan vi började planera ... deras färdigheter behövde "scaffolding" ... så kartor med en väg till hur dom kom till förskolan, som vi hade på papper, gjordes i 3D med lösa delar, följde till deras dörr. Barnen lärde sig om varandra, det skapade känslan av gemenskap vi behövde för att driva andra idéer, det gav barnen möjlighet att se hur några levde nära och andra längre bort, hur några bodde bredvid varandra och att vissa hade två hem. Magi/älvor etc magiområdet kan vara ett roligt sätt att utforska med yngre barn ... och det finns många äldre barn som läser science fiction-böcker - så att införliva fantasi i verkligheten kring barnen tillåter alla att se saker med nya ögon. Älvprojekten (Som en del av International Fairy Tea Party) har gjort det möjligt för oss att titta på naturen på nytt - leta efter tecken på älvor och dom mycket små saker. Att utforska magiska krafter har varit ett bra sätt att utforska ansvar... om du hade en supermakt eller magisk kraft vad skulle du göra med det? Böcker som Harry Potter eller Percy Jackson eller Magnus Chase skulle låta dig utforska magi och myt i dagens sammanhang... (äldre barn) Vatten är det som vi naturligtvis har undersökt med Gästrikevatten och har utforskat hur det renats, vår mänskliga påverkan, ansvar, egenskaper, hållbarhet och utveckling av sätt att dela denna information med andra etc. Som jag skrev ovan ... det har handlat om att balansera hands-on upplevelser, dialoger och fakta ... låter barnen dela med sig av dom kunskaper dom har med varandra, uppmuntra dom att ta reda på mer och hjälpa dom med informationskällor när dom behövde det eller bad om det. I Palestina presenterade jag pedagogerna där böcker utan texter ... tanken var att dom skulle kunna användas för att provocera deras tänkande. Böckerna var en gnista för undersökning. Att titta på böckerna med nya ögon, och inte bara som en produkt för en saga - men som en källa till möjligheter. Lärarna kunde se att det var potential att utforska och förfråga många idéer i boken ... bilderna uppmuntrade dialog, vetenskapsutforskningar, konst mm En undersökning måste börja med nyfikenhet. Du måste få eleverna fascinerad. Gruppen måste ha en känsla av gemenskap för att kunna arbeta tillsammans.

För mig detta undersökande förhållningssätt är en naturliga del av "Original Learning" där hela barnet, alla 100 språk, lek och lärande värderas lika högt.

links for further reading

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Article 9... protecting children...

I think it is important that every person makes a stand about what is going on in USA concerning children at the borders...
But also to lift eyes to the fact that this is not just happening in USA either... there are children all over the world that are living in inhuman conditions... my time in Palestine has shown me that... not one of my friends, family or colleagues (in real life or online) would ever wish to raise their child in a country where there is such instability, where soldiers can march into your home at any time, where children are arrested and taken away without informing family and are often tortured - I have listened to the stories first hand... this is not second hand information, this is people I have met.
Neither Israel or Palestine are free... there is this border that restricts both that are supposed to share the land... and then there is the Gaza Strip... maybe the world's largest concentration camp...?

I don't intend to be political here... I only intend to appeal to a humane approach to treating people... and the way we treat our children (the children of the world) will impact our future... these children will become adults - we want a planet filled with peace, respect and equality... and yet there are far too many adults showing children the exact opposite of what this is.

This blog is filled with posts about equality, about democratic learning, about respect, listening, about meeting the needs of all children, the most vulnerable, about love.

And yet what is happening on the border of USA... a country that claims to be so amazing, to be a leader... is so clearly demonstrating the very worst of humanity.

The title of this post is Article 9 - which comes from the child convention - and can be read below...

Article 9
1. States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities subject to judicial review determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures, that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child. Such determination may be necessary in a particular case such as one involving abuse or neglect of the child by the parents, or one where the parents are living separately and a decision must be made as to the child's place of residence.
2. In any proceedings pursuant to paragraph 1 of the present article, all interested parties shall be given an opportunity to participate in the proceedings and make their views known.
3. States Parties shall respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parents to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child's best interests.
4. Where such separation results from any action initiated by a State Party, such as the detention, imprisonment, exile, deportation or death (including death arising from any cause while the person is in the custody of the State) of one or both parents or of the child, that State Party shall, upon request, provide the parents, the child or, if appropriate, another member of the family with the essential information concerning the whereabouts of the absent member(s) of the family unless the provision of the information would be detrimental to the well-being of the child. States Parties shall further ensure that the submission of such a request shall of itself entail no adverse consequences for the person(s) concerned.

It is clear that the separation of children from their parents in USA has nothing to do with the best interests of the children. But, of course, it is not so worth while to make quotes from the child convention, since USA was one of two countries that have not ratified these rights - Somalia being the other country. The reason? Well USA wanted to keep their right (??) to execute people under the age of 18. To be honest in this last year I am pretty sick of hearing about American rights - the right to bear arms and the right to execute children (under the age of 18 is classified a child in most countries) - its not about safety, it not about creating a better world it just seems to be a right for rights sake... not thought through about how can this be done in a way that protects the rights of all humans to live a life free from the threat of school shootings.

But as I listened to Trump talk about "Space Force" and the need for USA to dominate space it just made me feel that this is a HUGE part of the problem. There should be collaboration not domination. USA should not be dominating space - the planet needs to work together on this one.
And if collaboration was the driving force instead of domination - then maybe the way people are being treated at the borders would be more humane.

I don't think Trump is alone in his need to dominate... I think this need is found in many places in the world. It is not a political thing, it is a social thing... school bullies need to dominate.

My children made the decision some time ago not to travel to USA, because they did not want to financially support a country that disrespected its school children (and teachers) so much... and now more fuel has been added to why we would not want to financially support the country.
We make the choice about what products we buy too... although we as a family like to buy as local as possible anyway from an environmental impact point of view (not exclusively, just try to as much as finances allow us).
Is a non-USA citizen I have no congress man etc to call and inform of my concern... I cannot march and rise against the system that allows such inhumanity. But I can write this to share that I do not agree with it, that I have seen the pages, articles, books, researchers, doctors, experts that condemn these actions at the American borders.

ALL children deserve respect, deserve a life not filled with fear... and should be with their most trusted carers... most often their parents.
And I also think there are many places in the world, even this so-called "developed or first world" of ours that are leaning more and more to the dehumanisation of peoples and cultures - that then allow such atrocious behaviour and treatment to occur. We must always stand against injustice. We must always stand up for those who are given no voice (until the world learns to listen).

Child Convention... all the articles
Heartbreaking cries of children separated at border - Telegraph
who decided to take away children at the US border.... BBC
children in Palestine... Israel AND Palestine need to make some drastic changes to create a safer place for children
children in Syria
this site you can check on many places in the world, and the rights of children that are being infringed... and one could say the rights of many humans adult and child in these places

Monday, 18 June 2018

Art and Creativity... The Future of Preschools (part 4) Konst och kreativitet... Framtidens Förskola (del4)

This post is in Swedish after the image, and links can be found at the very end of this post to further explore the topic.

For me art and creativity have always been a central part of learning, and there are lots of posts here on my blog that you can read to explore (I will list 5 of them at the end). I have frequently said that just about the whole of the preschool curriculum could occur in the art studio/atelier.

Like philosophy, for me, art is not an event, it is an integral part of learning, and very much an essential part of "original learning". The children and I learn things through art, not just artistic techniques, but also science, social and emotional development, history, engineering etc etc...

More importantly art is a creative expression of what a person is feeling, exploring, wondering - as well as an immersive way to experience the world.

Art can be a place to experience aeon.
Plato used the word aeon to denote the eternal world of ideas, which he conceived was "behind" the perceived world, as demonstrated in his famous allegory of a cave. But it is also referred to as "an age", eternity, time. Or as Walter Kohan described it ...different types of Greek time (aion, kairos, khronos): where aion is childhood, that time where time is not felt - like when you are totally absorbed by art (or another activity) and are unaware of how time rolls by. Khronos is time in the sense of chronology - a start and a finish, schedules etc, and kairos is time that is now, this moment, and each moment is different.
We need all these elements of time to learn and evolve, but school tends to be fixated on khronos - with its time tables, testing and outcomes, while children, especially the young, experience life through aeon.

In a holistic way we need all these time "approaches" - to slow down and appreciate the now, the moment, scheduled time to feel the safety of routines, to be able to see life and knowledge as well as time to be free to explore ideas... where aeon, according to Kohan is Khronos is more closely connected to knowledge and science while aeon is more connected to play and ideas.

True artistic/creative expression is in this sense aeon... not doing crafts or following a template which is khronos (you follow a chronological step of instructions). It is not wrong to follow templates, but we, as educators must be aware that we are not providing space and time for the child to explore imagination, ideas, emotions, themselves and the world around them - but only the set of instructions and related motor skills. If following instructions and the said motor skill is the aim of the lesson then this is not a problem, but if the aim is to allow the children to experience aeon, to play, to be themselves as they create then we have not been successful.

Of course art can be a mix of all three of these time approaches aeon does not have to exclude khronos and kairos.

Below are images where art an creativity take a holistic approach... the WHOLE child, the WHOLE time (ie all three times) and the WHOLE curriculum (transdisciplinary)

This is an image from Eva Tuhav Gullberg (the link takes you to her instagram and allows you to see a film of this image) The clay here has been connected to "makey-makey" so that it makes music. As a project this can involve the whole child, the feel and smell of the clay, the forming of the shape allowing the whole child to engage, the child can experience aeon through the design and shaping of the clay, the choosing of embellishment and also through creating music afterwards. The whole curriculum can be experienced - art, design, engineering, music, technology/science, math, language - and if this is done in a social context we can bring in social emotional learning.
The children could work individually to create their own clay "keys" to make notes... do they make random shapes, or do they make shapes that connect to the pitch? Will this be shape, size, or metaphorical - can they create a creature or object that would make this sound that it is connected to? If working in a group does each child make a "key" each, do they decide together on the theme, or do they leave it to chance, how do they make these decisions?
if the children have made individual sets of musical "keys" can they find any similarities between their keys, have they been inspired by each other, what differences are there, why do the children think they have made different shapes/forms for the same sound?
or of one child started and another had to continue on the same keys, how would the children respond? is it easy to allow another to finish of what you have started, is it easy to continue what someone else has started?

that the whole child means not just touch and sight - but all the senses... for instance in this image I had added food flavouring to the paint so that it would smell. Engaging the child in their painting in a new way - lemon, mint, orange blossom and rose.
Sound is also an interesting way to experience art - putting on music to dance to as we paint, or to simply paint to, or as one child I observed she copied others by the sound they made with their pens... in other words she did not copy by drawing a similar shape, but by making a similar sound, which quote often created similar images (but not always). It was fascinating to watch.
with this art experience there was most definitely a sense of chronology... the children first drew round their own photographs on perspex, then put this drawing on the overhead to project onto a wall covered in paper, and they followed the outline, they then used black paint to define the outlines. Then they designed a shade of colour that felt most them to be their background and finally mixed colours to create their shade of skin, hair, eyes etc... it was a process that took many weeks... and each session the children experienced aeon and kairos - both losing themselves to time and the enjoyment of the process as well as being aware of the moment they were in, as I as an educator would ask questions, or they stepped back to look at what they were doing.
They definitely used their whole bodies to create this, no sitting down all the time... from the table, to the wall, to the floor.
And the learning was transdisciplinary - they learned about themselves, about mixing paint, gained knowledge about artists (those that painted portraits we looked at, Klein was talked about in our process of creating our own colour) which meant history and geography was seeping into this art experience not as must have facts to learn but as interesting information that was meaningful to our art experience. The children learned that to make skin colour we all used the same colours mixed together but in different amounts, no matter what our skin colour... that we were more alike than different. They also discovered in the process that they are a series of individuals that create a group... in the beginning they were so focussed on their individual portrait that it had not occurred to them that we were painting a group . They learned how to ask for help as well as offer help.

then there is JOY... that pure moment when everyone disappears and the child is experiencing he paint (material). Of course in these moments the child is unaware of how the colours mix, that other people exist, they are totally in their own bubble of aeon...
I have also done full body art in larger groups where the group is aware of each other, but also seem to be quite unaware that the rest of the world exists... it is just them, it is HIGH energy, laughter, boundaries (who wants to get messy, who does not, how long can some participate, who will allow others to touch them with paint covered hands - in a group there is so much social learning happening - and while all my experiences with this art have been positive I have also been keenly aware of how on the edge it is - so much joy and excitement is so easy to be nudged over into tears)
I have done this inside, outside, and even directly on the floor, so that the children could clean the floor cinderella style (that was their wish to start with, the transient art process was a means to an end)
It is in these moments of creative chaos that the children are exposed to so much social learning. Many times I do not take photographs at all, because it consumes all my energy - to ensure the risk level does not escalate to danger (slippery floors) and also to be totally in tune with the children's emotions so that I can scaffold them in their processes and help them avoid falling from extreme joy into that chasm of extreme sadness... being upset is OK, being irritated is OK etc, as long as they manage their emotions, but these full body paintings tend to be extreme joy, so its a long way to fall and you need a parachute for that.
For the children to have this creative freedom means that we as adults have created a very ordered routine - who is helping those get washed afterwards, where clothes are kept, where the children have finished will be when they have had their fill of paint, and how to deal with clean up. Its is extremely structured so that the children have freedom. When I asked my group what they wanted to do on their last art session with me before the school holidays... full-body art was what they wanted - all of them. In a way this is pure freedom.

sometimes the art is not about being creative but about exploring something else... for instance in this session the children were exploring fear... and one of their fears was height... so each child got to pour out paint from the height they dared to climb up... this was a lot of fun - we talked about risk, and how we could minimise risk, we talked about gravity, we talked about turn taking (as they could not all be on the step ladder at the same time)
At the end the sensory need of the group kicked in and they wanted to mix the paint splodges with their hands and fingers. This was a group that had a huge sensory need, just as young children have, and as we were a new preschool, I assumed that they had not got this need met at the previous preschools they were at. So I made sure that I met this need, through art and other activities... and the more sensory activities they were exposed to the calmer the social atmosphere became... but this can also be due to all the other things we were doing too, but it is certainly an important part to the whole child learning.

I want to go on sharing images and thinking about how they connect to the whole child, But I realise that this post will get too long, there are previous posts about art and learning that you can refer to, and I hope to get back to this topic again.
Art and creativity are an essential part of learning... it is not just a separate subject to be learned, but a way of exploring ideas and subjects children are learning about. A tool for learning. A way to engage the whole child and not just their Khronos approach to learning.

we need to break free from this chronological way of learning... we need to embrace the whole child.

Nu på svenska (and afterwards links to blogposts and articles connected to this)

För mig har konst och kreativitet alltid varit en central del av lärandet, och det finns många inlägg här på min blogg som du kan läsa för att utforska (jag kommer att lista 5 av dem i slutet). Jag har ofta sagt att nästan hela förskolans läroplan skulle kunna förekomma i ateljén. Precis som filosofi är konst för mig inte en händelse/event, det är en integrerad del av lärandet, och väldigt mycket en viktig del av "originalinlärning". Barnen och jag lär sig saker genom konst, inte bara konstnärliga tekniker, men också vetenskap, social och emotionell utveckling, historia, teknik etc etc ... Ännu viktigare är att konst är ett kreativt uttryck för vad en person känner, utforskar, undrar - liksom ett fördjupande sätt att uppleva världen. Konst kan vara en plats att uppleva aeon. Platon använde ordet aeon för att beteckna den eviga världen av idéer, som han tänkte var "bakom" den upplevda världen, vilket framgår av hans berömda allegori av en grotta (grott-teori). Men det kallas också "en ålder", evighet, tid. Eller som Walter Kohan beskriver det ... det finns olika typer av grekisk tid (aion, kairos, khronos): där aion är barndom, den tid där tiden inte känns - som om du helt absorberas av konst (eller annan aktivitet) och är omedveten om hur tiden rullar förbi. Khronos är tid i betydelsen av kronologi - en start och en avslutning, scheman etc, och kairos är tiden som är nu, just nu, och varje ögonblick är annorlunda. Vi behöver alla dessa tidselement för att lära och utveckla, men skolan tenderar att fixeras på khronos - med tidtabeller, test och resultat, medan barn, särskilt de yngre, upplever livet genom aeon. På ett holistiskt sätt behöver vi alla dessa tiders "tillvägagångssätt" - att sakta ner och uppskatta nuet, planerad tid att känna rutinernas trygghet, för att kunna se liv och kunskap - samt tid att vara fri att utforska idéer ... aeon. Enligt Kohan, är Khronos närmare kopplat till kunskap och vetenskap medan aeon är mer kopplad till lek och idéer. Äkta konstnärligt/kreativt uttryck är i den meningen aeon ... inte att följa en mall som är khronos (du följer ett kronologiskt steg med instruktioner). Det är inte fel att följa mallar, men vi, som lärare måste vara medvetna om att vi på det här viset inte ger utrymme och tid för barnet att utforska fantasi, idéer, känslor, sig själva och världen runt dem - endast uppsatta instruktioner och relaterade motoriska färdigheter. Om instruktioner och motorisk färdighet är syftet med lektionen är det här inte något problem, men om syftet är att låta barnen uppleva aeon, lek, vara sig själva och skapa så har vi inte lyckats. Naturligtvis kan konst vara en blandning av alla tre av dessa tidsansträngningar. Aeon behöver inte utesluta khronos och kairos. Ovanför finns bilder där konst en kreativitet tar en helhetssyn ... hela barnet, hela tiden (dvs alla tre) och hela läroplanen (tvärvetenskaplig). Texten där finns på engelska.

Jag vill fortsätta att dela bilder och tankar på hur de ansluter till hela barnet, men jag inser att det här inlägget kommer att bli för långt, det finns tidigare inlägg om konst och lärande som du kan hänvisa till, och jag vill komma tillbaka till detta ämne igen.
Konst och kreativitet är en viktig del av lärandet ... det är inte bara ett separat ämne att lära sig, men ett sätt att utforska idéer och ämnen som barn lär sig om. Ett verktyg för lärande. Ett sätt att engagera hela barnet och inte bara deras Khronos inställning till lärande.

The art of learning part one
The art of learning part 2
does boredom give birth to creativity
Creativity and the artist
What is Creativity

and from Diane Kashin... The Importance of Art in the Development of the Whole Child (this is not the first time that Diane and I have been writing similar posts at the same time - this post has been in the works for the last few weeks as part of my series on the future of preschools, so it was so happy to see that she also shared a post on the importance of art for the whole child)

Future of preschools/Framtidens förskolor 1
Future of preschools/Framtidens förskolor 2
Future of preschools/Framtidens förskolor 3