Sightlines Initiative

promoting creative and reflective practice in early childhood education


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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

Discussion and news for parents and the broad community.

It is a connection point for parents and families keen to support our visions for education, to learn together, to signpost resources, campaigns and much more!  We look forward to the exchanges and making the changes in education about which we are so passionate.

Change is everyday
"Those who work and live with children have a duty to renew hope in their daily action: a message of trust we must embed within us, educators and parents, in order for changes to be generated"

It was September when the Reggio Children Foundation posted the following letter on its Facebook page. As a way to start our parents' view diary and as encouragement for these globally difficult days, I recall here their beautiful message: we have the possibility "to give a human and civilized meaning to existence… to feel nostalgia for the future, and for humankind". It resides in fact in our daily life.

"To the parents and children of the infant-toddler centres and preschools.

It has been a difficult summer for the world, for Europe, for Italy. Because of wars, sometimes invisible and often "forgotten", because of terrorist attacks, because of earthquakes – "attacks" by nature of enormous proportions – tragedies added to tragedies. In our Countries we are witnessing a human exodus. The rights of many are betrayed… starting with children… starting with the right to life and to safety.

Those who work and live with children have a duty to renew hope in their daily action: a message of trust we must embed within us, educators and parents, in order for changes to be generated. In fact we would like to hope, believe and communicate to the children that gestures of dialogue and peace are still possible, always possible, and that these are the foundation of human relations.

Education to respect for a life and ideas different from one's own, the determination and capacity to dialogue with differences, compassion, and solidarity, are the conditions for a stable peace, capable of halting appalling "holocausts" and giving voice to human reason again.

At the start of this new school year, what we ask of each one of us, we who are parents, educators and citizens in educational institutions, is a daily commitment to reaffirming the right of every person and every society to life and to a future, to education, to safety, to beauty, to play and to relations; continuing "to give a human and civilized meaning to existence… to feel nostalgia for the future, and for humankind". (Loris Malaguzzi). Infant-Toddler Centres and Preschool of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia - Reggio Children - Reggio Children Foundation"

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Envisioning Education

Beginning our new series, parents contribute reflections on what they want for their children and their visions of education. Viviana Fiorentino here reflects on her son Federico's recent play and exploration. Do comment and forward. 

Have you got examples to offer? Please get in touch!

Here it is: 

Continue reading
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Parents in Dialogue

Since autumn 2016, a group of Sightlines' Network parents have been meeting  - over the internet, and at early years settings - to champion and develop the possibilities of inspired education for their children, to communicate what is possible to other parents, to support educators striving to develop education along the lines of  Sightlines' principles.

They share the frustration  common amongst so many parents about their children's situations. Here are two typical reflections: "As a family we are passionate about education. We are all life long learners and within 4 months of being in school my son told me that he was stupid and never wanted to learn again. This was after he had loved the Reggio-inspired teaching at Madeley Nursery, wanting to go there seven days a week." "Schools should be ateliers or laboratories of experiences for the hands and the mind, with plenty of time for playing in nature, to learn from it and love it."

Visions for our children

They are passionate to bring to the public table stories of what is 'out there', what is possible, and about the hopes, dreams, expectations and rights of children. They want to connect and give hope to the many parents dismayed by their children's experiences of school, to illustrate what is possible and what SHOULD be expected. The collection is just beginning; it will aim to illustrate Sightlines Principles found both in the everyday lives of children and in schools which are making this possible. We'll paste the first narrative tomorrow ...

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