Sightlines Initiative

promoting creative and reflective practice in early childhood education


This Blog (or Diary) section has a broad mix of articles, reflections, comments, position pieces, as well as requests and information from Network members. It is becoming quite a comprehensive library. You can browse using the categories and search modules to the left.

Do contact us with your suggestions for new articles - and we really appreciate comments and other feedback.
Robin Duckett

Wanted: a Pedagogical Leader

The Children's Garden, Stamford, one of the nurseries in our network, is seeking a pedagogical leader to join them in developing their practice. Do please pass it on to anyone you feel may be interested and suitable: Here is their call:


The Children's Garden Day Nursery and Montessori Pre-School, Stamford, Lincs, 

"We believe that if Maria Montessori was alive today, that she would have taken further her knowledge and research. Her ideas that the environment was the third teacher – a prepared environment, and that children are born with innate gifts and resources to create themselves may well have led to profound change which would reflect the practices taking place in the Reggio Emilia area of Italy today.

We are a nursery daycentre committed to developing our understanding and practice, recently inspired by the work of Reggio Emilia's preschools, and have launched into the excitement of change through a recent Sightlines 'Developing Environments of Enquiry' course.

It is our hope to develop our own pedagogy with an experienced and inspirational leader who can help to move us into deeper thinking and understanding about this approach.

The right candidate will have extensive experience about the Reggio Emilia approach, be confident in delivering staff development and training, and be experienced particularly in working with children under five. We are in the early stages of our journey so we're looking for someone with a mature approach who is able introduce new ways of working with sensitivity and patience. A knowledge of Montessori would be helpful. Salary to be discussed based on experience and expectation of delivery.

You can read more about us online: 

Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or ring  01780 752094"

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3608 Hits

Kendal Drama of Sound work: Review in Nursery World

Dogs, Bones & Dancing!

A detailed review of this two year work will be published in Nursery World next Monday online.

The article will then appear in the next printed edition. We've had a lovely time discussing it with Annette Rastrone, the writer.

You can sign up to Nursery World online for free (for seven days) to read the article.

Dogs, Bones & Dancing is a free multimedia online publication, made possible through our Youth Music funding. You can read more  and sign up to view it by clicking here..

Here is an extract from a reflection by our colleague Professor Colwyn Trevarthen:

Continue reading
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2768 Hits

The challenge of co-constructed learning for educators in Reggio

​​I have recently been going though my Reggio Study Tour journals and came across this entry about working with new teachers and others as part of a collegiate group of co-learners. As part of a discussion group facilitated by Claudia Giudici, a conversation arose about the frustrations of working with others who may not be experienced in their roles or familiar with their approaches of working alongside children. I remember there was much talk from the international group present about trying to inspire or persuade others to work in a different way, one often perceived as the Reggio Approach. In a sense, it was about how to inspire the other, how to encourage change in those around us. Claudia reminded us that we were all educators of children i the process of change and evolving knowledge. Therefore it was necessary for us all to be aware of our roles both alongside of children and alongside of each other as educators. In working with others, she said, there was always an inherent danger of becoming the deliverer of practice or an applier of knowledge in particular methods of working. Instead, we should strive to always be co-protagonists in the learning processes of both the children and of ourselves as a team of educators and avoid seeing ourselves as any kind of expert. Claudia gave an example of how she approached a situation with two new teachers working in one of the Pre-Schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy.

"In a discussion with two new teachers, I asked, 'what do you think about how you investigate colour with children?' Their response was 'the children must learn the primary colours and of course they must learn the names of colours too.' Of course, I knew that this is what nationally we are told but I knew that this was not the approach of the children as they are interested in the nuances of colour, the many shades of colour, the uses of colour and its expressive contexts. But, if I were to tell the teachers what to do, I would deny them the opportunity to think and find understanding. I would deny them possibilities of research and learning and for me to understand something like this from a different point of view. Instead, with the atelierista, we made a proposal that activated opportunities for the two new teachers to observe the children's exploration of colour and together we reflected on the children's approaches to colour in a real context. Hence the connection of theory and practice that developed and constructed meaning for the teachers and myself and not the application of my knowledge to another. Often, Claudia continued, pedagogisti work with the teachers on their questions, their strategies, their proposals of their daily encounters with children. "We spend much time reflecting on these, not in isolation but together."

Often, Claudia continued, pedagogisti work with the teachers on their questions, their strategies, their proposals of their daily encounters with children. "We spend much time reflecting on these, not in isolation but together." In this way, the action of the educator is not to tell, to model or to demonstrate but to generate the contexts that enable other educators and ourselves to observe, document and reflect upon the approaches to learning that children make in their own contexts. It is a process that challenges the quick fix solution of training and involves a researchful, sustained and dynamic process of professional learning that is co-constructed by peers in daily practice.

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3117 Hits