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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.
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A Fascinating Programme: Sat 26 November, London

A weekend for early childhood educators to encounter the work of Reggio Emilia and develop their own competences in working across the range of expressive languages to support their children's learning and meaning-making.

9.45 – 10: Welcomes


10 – 10.20: Introducing the Hundred Languages of Children – 'this fantastic theory'. Peter Moss (Professor of Education, Institute of Education, London) 

"The theory of the 'hundred languages of children' and the way it informs pedagogical work is an important part of the identity of the municipal schools of Reggio Emilia. The 'hundred languages of children' refers to the many different ways children (indeed all human beings) understand, represent, communicate and express, ranging from the language of drawing to the language of mathematics.

In this short introduction, I want to offer my understandings about this theory, including: its meaning, what languages it encompasses and where it originated; the images of the child and the teacher that it assumes; the values (for example, democracy, dialogue, inter-connectedness, uncertainty and wonder) that it embodies; and its implications for early childhood education today, including ideas about learning and the conditions needed to enable these ideas to be enacted.

This will inevitably provoke questions about current government policy, with its focus on a very limited number of languages and readying for a compulsory schooling that emphasises the separation of languages. Malaguzzi wrote in a famous poem that "children have a hundred languages: they rob them of ninety nine school and culture". Is that true of us today? And how might we move to an education that valued and sustained multi-lingualism in children and young people?"


10.25 – 12.30: Working in Many Languages of Learning in Reggio - Annalisa Rabotti (pedagogista, Reggio Emilia.) Annalisa will explore in depth a project which illustrates and reflects on working in multiple languages into an enquiry of children. She will explore both the enriched learning of the children and the educators.

12.30 - 1.30: lunch

1.30 – 2.45: How can we begin to create places for learning in many expressive languages? A participatory exercise, exploring a video'd observation; teasing out many possibilities, applying and valuing principles of enquiry.

2.45 – 3: break

3 – 4: Annalisa will make a final contribution, being a response to questions tabled at close of morning, reflections on issues raised during the preceding exercise, plus a 'surprise'.

4.15: close

Further Conference information and Booking

Book now! Ring 0191 261 7666 if you have particular queries. 

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Questing and 'going beyond' ...

As Jerome Bruner died just a few days ago, I was revisiting a 2014 interview: "The main point of teaching and educating" says Bruner, " is to get them [children, learners] to think and share about their notions of 'where this leads'; to go beyond the information given …"

Jerome Bruner (Jerry to friends),  dedicated psychologist  was fascinated by the dynamic, optimistic processes of human learning, and overjoyed when he first encountered the work and qualities of the preschools of Reggio Emilia some 20 years ago.

Ken Robinson, in a 2013 presentation which happened to be sitting right next to this Youtube recording, also insists: "education is a human system."

They both talk about 'rules of learning': they are principles which we certainly agree with - I think you'll also agree when you listen to them: they are important friends for us to have. 

Here they are: get ready for a good dose of  clarity and optimism:

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"What's life like for the worms?"

On the 14th May, as part of our conference on the work and influence of Loris Malaguzzi, our friend and colleague Professor Gunilla Dahlberg will be discussing the transforming of awareness and practice amongst Swedish educators and preschools in the  Swedish Reggio Emilia Network.  The intriguing title comes from  child's question in one of their schools, which helped the educators develop.

It is a journey of 'learning to listen' – going beyond 'doing': "When we began we loved the idea of project work – but we didn't actually listen to the children!"

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