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"The hand that rocks the cradle needs to rock the boat."
Here in Reggio Emilia it is the first of a six-day discussion and reflection of the members of the Reggio Children International Network, with the officers and pedagogues of the city's early childhood services.
Karen Callaghan of the Reggio Network in Canada, suddenly recalled this motto of the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, as we discussed the mood of the representatives.
As it turned out, the phrase was very apt for us, as we began to set to. We are all committed to constructing a strong education, which listens to the children - and we are passionate about informing the international community, politicians, parents, educators, all. It is a pedagogy of hope, as Claudia Giudici, President of Reggio Children reminded us, with this phrase of Paolo Freire's.
Nando Rinaldi, the new president of the Institute of Schools and Preschools of Reggio, said thoughtfully and determinedly, "'knowledge' grows - it is not static or academic, it needs to be lived, it depends on all our participation."
Stubborn and Resolute
Loris Malaguzzi was stubborn and resolute in his vision, Claudia said -a typical person of Reggio Emilia. And in this room of 33 representatives, from 22 countries, there was much of this, We are ready not only to rock the 'boat', but to figure out how to build new ones.
In our professional development work we are often talking about the importance of being prepared to 'get lost'; ready for the unexpected, the new view, puzzle, and encounter.
A Sightlines' Community member has sent us this poem, following a discussion about the value of getting off the path, immersed in the experience of deep woods (we were investigating a possible woodland to use for a Learning in Nature course next year.)
A most wonderful reminder, I thought: here's to us all taking those steps: adults and children, adventuring.
I hope you enjoy it too:
One of our network schools is looking for new staff. Even if it's not for you, do take the opportunity to view their website: it very elegantly represents the establishment's thoughtfulness, vision and values.
Early Years Keyworker / Educator
"The Governors at Madeley Nursery School are seeking to appoint an Early Years Keyworker / Educator to join the team at this friendly and creative school. The role requires the highest level of professionalism, creativity and enthusiasm for the education and care of young children and deep commitment to personal professional development.
Madeley Nursery is a dynamic school with fantastic children and families, set in the south Telford area.
If you are fascinated, energised and inspired by the approaches of the preschools in Reggio Emilia; if you wish to be involved in a school that offers great professional development and a friendly and supportive school community then contact the school for more information.
Madeley Nursery School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and an enhanced DBS disclosure will be requested for the successful candidate.
Informal visits to the school are welcome. Please telephone the school to arrange an appointment on (01952) 388210.