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Diary

In this blog we are posting news from around the network, reflections on general news items and other broad-ranging items of interest. Current contributors are Sightlines Initiative directors Robin Duckett, Liz Elders, Debi Keyte Hartland and Chris Merrick.
We have a Library View (see left column) to help you find past articles.

Imagination encircles the world

click to read interview

"Imagination is more important than knowledge" 

That banner-statement of Einstein's came back to me yesterday, as I was reflecting on the questions and uncertainties of an enthusiastic team of educators with whom we're currently working. Keen to thoroughly shift their practice from 'instruction' to 'construction', they are encountering  that 'rug-pulled-from-under-their feet' feeling of  what it might mean to do things differently, with a different mindset:

"What should we do if we're not instructing?"

"What if the children have different interests and ideas to ours?"

"How can we understand what to do?"

Their imagination is kindled, nudging them towards 'doing things differently', yet like many/most of us, their own experience of 'what education is' had been solidly instructional: that's what they'd had, and that's the common practice in the schools around them. Very unsettling, to say the least. I recall how education students participating in our Floor Four exploratorium also discussed how they felt initially de-skilled by the challenge of beginning with listening and observation, rther than predefined ctivities (as they'd been taught in college.)

How different the challege is to work with imagination at the fore, rather than repetition and ingestion. 

What a positive call of encouragement Einstein's famous proclamation is, and I was prompted to hear more, so I tracked down the 1929 interview.  If you click on the statement , you can read the full interview too - I hope you enjoy it as much as did I. Einstein discusses so much, so elequently - the artistry of being, thinking, examining, living - and the serious danger of living withough so doing.

“Life is like riding a bicycle." letter to son: February 5, 1930

"Life," Einstein said later in a letter to his son, "is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving." 

Maybe that is good enough advice for us educators too, as we learn, uncertainly, but with inner energy, how to do things differently: learning how better to work with our children who themselves are also born natural examiners of worlds.

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Here are two inspiring things for early years educators in 2018!

Documentation displayed at Madeley

​Thing the First

On Friday 2nd February we are having a Dialogue Day at Madeley Nursery School, Telford. This will be a special day dedicated to explore the various  principles and practice which Sightlines Initiative, the Nursery School, and also Reggio Emilia, have been working on for  20, 17, and 60 years (!) respectively. The day will be for a maximum of 10 educators/heads/managers, who are themselves beginning to explore theses principles in their practice.

Here you can read  more about the day, and book your place - do ring us with any questions.

voices, rumours, opinions ...

Thing the Second

 ... A video by  Reggio Emilia's municipal infant-toddler centres and preschools,  based on children's ideas and thoughts about the squares in the city. 

The schools wanted to investigate children's ideas on the participation and 'life lived' by adults and children in the piazzas of the town and in the schools themselves, as a backdrop to the elections of a big new intake of citizens and friends to the new City Childhood Councils  ....


in the square - people are not strangers anymore ...

Here are the typically lively, sensitive  ...

in a preschool piazza
pigeons talking in the square

 ...surprising and observant views of the children, 





curated and attended to by equally thoughtful and observant adults ....




And presented for us all in this enchanting online video ...

TWOTHOUSANDEIGHTEEN WISHES FOR A WORLD OF PEACE

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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:

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