header1.jpg header2.jpg header3.jpg header8.jpg

listening connects ...

whale song: Torgeir Husevaag 2010

Last week, the UK government's March 2016  budget announced that it would promote education by dedicating money to  'free schools from local authority control',  as if this is self-evidently a good thing, and will result in better situations for our children. At least we presume this is the reasoning; perhaps there could be other reasons.

Having just had some delightful discussions with Canadian colleague Dr. Patricia Tarr who introduced me to new and extremely thoughtful guidelines being developed  by a regional authority, Alberta, I was yet again appalled by  current political thinking, and left struggling to contemplate if our government could ever understand, or care about, the worlds of children and learning.

Here is something from Play, Participation, and Possibilities: An Early Learning and Child Care Curriculum Framework for Alberta: "[We are] inspired by a vision of strong, active, and energetic childhood communities—places of vitality—that welcome and invite the participation of children and their families. It is a framework of possibilities situated in the social and cultural experiences of families in local communities. Each child's care, play, learning, and development are nurtured as educators work within a practice of relationships, appreciating family, social, and cultural practices and traditions and embracing a strong capable image of the child, as a mighty learner and citizen.  ...  We view the child as a mighty learner and citizen—strong, resourceful, and capable. This image affirms each child's right to be listened to, to be treated with respect, and to participate in daily decisions that affect him or her. This understanding of each child as a citizen and as a strong, resourceful, and capable learner shifts the intention of our interactions from "doing to" a child toward "participating with" each child. This image of the child—a mighty learner and citizen—calls on us to continually re-examine our own practices, our interactions, and our assumptions about children, childhood, learning, and play. "

I highly recommend it to both educators and politicians (and Mr. Osborne, you will see that it is not a matter of 'control' but also of care, cohesion and connection. ) Click on the link - it's free.

Very much thrown by this massive gulf in comprehension by political leaders who are nevertheless keen to wield power over children and education, and wondering if things could ever be different, I heard radio interviewer Libby Purves yesterday ask:  "Was there a definite moment [in the history of whaling] when people thought 'these are wonderful, intelligent, extra-ordinary animals and we must save them?" - the answer gave a powerful direction:

whale song: Torgeir Husevaag 2010

Last week, the UK government's March 2016  budget announced that it would promote education by dedicating money to  'free schools from local authority control',  as if this is self-evidently a good thing, and will result in better situations for our children. At least we presume this is the reasoning; perhaps there could be other reasons.

Having just had some delightful discussions with Canadian colleague Dr. Patricia Tarr who introduced me to new and extremely thoughtful guidelines being developed  by a regional authority, Alberta, I was yet again appalled by  current political thinking, and left struggling to contemplate if our government could ever understand, or care about, the worlds of children and learning.

Here is something from Play, Participation, and Possibilities: An Early Learning and Child Care Curriculum Framework for Alberta: "[We are] inspired by a vision of strong, active, and energetic childhood communities—places of vitality—that welcome and invite the participation of children and their families. It is a framework of possibilities situated in the social and cultural experiences of families in local communities. Each child's care, play, learning, and development are nurtured as educators work within a practice of relationships, appreciating family, social, and cultural practices and traditions and embracing a strong capable image of the child, as a mighty learner and citizen.  ...  We view the child as a mighty learner and citizen—strong, resourceful, and capable. This image affirms each child's right to be listened to, to be treated with respect, and to participate in daily decisions that affect him or her. This understanding of each child as a citizen and as a strong, resourceful, and capable learner shifts the intention of our interactions from "doing to" a child toward "participating with" each child. This image of the child—a mighty learner and citizen—calls on us to continually re-examine our own practices, our interactions, and our assumptions about children, childhood, learning, and play. "

I highly recommend it to both educators and politicians (and Mr. Osborne, you will see that it is not a matter of 'control' but also of care, cohesion and connection. ) Click on the link - it's free.

Very much thrown by this massive gulf in comprehension by political leaders who are nevertheless keen to wield power over children and education, and wondering if things could ever be different, I heard radio interviewer Libby Purves yesterday ask:  "Was there a definite moment [in the history of whaling] when people thought 'these are wonderful, intelligent, extra-ordinary animals and we must save them?" - the answer gave a powerful direction:

"The moment is to do with technology - scientist Roger Payne and Scott McVay dropped a hydrophone into the water off the coast of Bermuda (1967) and recorded the sound of a humpack whale. Suddenly animals which had been dumb and unable to protest their abuse not only had a voice but a phrenody, a beautiful haunting melody …"  replied Philip Hoare author: Leviathan, or The Whale.  (Midweek, Radio 4, Wednesday 23 March 2016)

Payne's recordings were released in 1970 as an LP called Songs of the Humpback Whale and became the best-selling nature sound record of all time. 19 years later commercial whaling was banned.  People were enabled to listen, not just see. they were brought closer and connected. 

This can be the powerful direction for all involved with promoting the wellbeing and education of children: make children's powerful thinking visible. it was a first lesson in the growth of the preschools of Reggio Emilia, and here again is the voice of a 'local authority':  "our Municipal Preschools and Infant Toddler Centres are elements representing the founding and fundamental values of our city." The mayor of Reggio Emilia:February 2016: letter to the International Network.

If societies can tune in to the lives of whales through the dropping of a hydrophone, societies can be taught to listen to the lives and voices of children: We need to collect the songs and publish them; loudly.

Look what We found! Hearing Children's Theories
Nursery Teacher Wanted: Halifax

Related Posts

 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Monday, 09 December 2019

Captcha Image