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Reflections on Reggio Emilia (2017) - Google Photos
"In the spring of 2017, I had the opportunity to return to Reggio Emilia, Italy for a study tour of the municipal schools for young children. I was with a cohort of fellow graduate students from PSU and two early childhood professors from the Graduate School of Education. In my travels, readings, classroom observations, and discussions, I was thinking deeply about themes of fascism, conformity, and the danger of a single story, as well as multiplicity, creativity, divergent thinking, and the power of the counter narrative."

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"The Bordercrossings atelier at the Loris Malaguzzi Centre was a profound interactive and collaborative experience, where I witnessed the power of combining natural and digital elements for exploration. I wondered, what stories do natural materials have to tell us? How can we use natural materials to share our own stories? How can the use of digital media extend and push our thinking about the natural world?"

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"At ReMida, the creative reuse center in Reggio Emilia, I spent some time with the materials. I wondered, what stories do reuse materials have to tell us? Perhaps they started out as raw materials... or were they developed for a particular use? Were they used as intended, or in other ways? Or maybe they were not used at all? Do materials have hopes of becoming something else? Do they hold the energy from their past life of joy, hope, disappointment? Can we transform reuse materials by giving them another life, and does the experience change us in return?"

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Encounters with Bruno Munari-

I visited the little bookshop at the Loris Malaguzzi International Centre several times to choose books for myself and for my preschool classroom. It is a place of many treasures. But each time I returned I found myself drawn to one particular author whose name sounded vaguely familiar, Bruno Munari. His work is so whimsical, and full of wonder, and the illustrations spoke to me. I picked up everything I could find...an amazing trilogy, Little Yellow, Little White, and Little Green Riding Hood, another children's book called The Circus in the Mist, and a funny little surrealist picture book called Seeking Comfort in an Uncomfortable Chair. As I was leaving, I was surprised to see my favorite childhood book, Zoo, behind the checkout counter. I pointed to it with delight, and the young lady who runs the shop apologized to me, this book is not for sale, she said. It was ordered for the children of Reggio Emilia. I explained to her that I have a copy from my own childhood. My grandmother kept it at her house for me when I was young and it is my favorite children's book. It is so unusual; unlike any other children's book I have seen. Ah, She exclaimed, that explains your love of Bruno Munari! I looked closer, and yes, Zoo was also written by Bruno Munari. The illustrations are in the same style, and it is written with incredible wit and humor; clearly with a deep regard for the intelligence of children. I have such gratitude for this "full circle" experience that reminded me of all the many ways I feel deeply connected to the work of Reggio Emilia.

[images]"
2017  reggioemilia  brunomunari  lorismalaguzzi  pedagogy  children  learning  education  italia  italy  materials  remida 
february 2018 by robertogreco
Ventana School
"Welcome to Ventana School. We are a progressive, Episcopal preschool and elementary school with a Reggio-inspired curriculum, tucked away in the serene quiet of Los Altos Hills.

At Ventana, childhood wonder is the springboard for learning. A kindergartener spots a bee crawling on the ground and wonders why it isn't flying. Soon her whole class is studying bee colonies and designing a pollinator garden. Third-grade students learn about “mindsets,” which sparks a month-long investigation into the brain. With teachers as guides, our students take charge of their learning and feed their passionate curiosity.

We give children endless opportunities to express their creativity. We recognize that children process ideas in a multitude of ways — what Reggio educators call the “hundred languages of children.” Our students paint, sculpt, build, tinker, tell stories, create plays, and make music, all ways of reflecting deeply on new concepts.

We nurture students from the inside out. We value social-emotional learning as much as academics. In our safe and supportive environment, students collaborate and negotiate as they grapple with big ideas. They learn to listen and lead. They develop confidence in their capability and resilience, and emerge as life-long learners."
schools  losaltos  losaltoshills  bayarea  reggioemilia  via:derek 
december 2017 by robertogreco
Participation is an invitation: Citizen, Citizenship, Participation DVD | Reggio Children
"During the meetings, as the children used different expressive languages to investigate and interpret the themes and meanings of community and citizenship, their words and ideas emerged more and more clearly.
 
It was immediately visible (and audible!) that we were building a sort of alphabet, a lexicon that inventoried the value of citizenship, participation, city, public places, migration, rights, duties…

The children’s reflections represent a special occasion to re-launch, also in other contexts, the themes of welcome, borders, and democracy, and to elicit, we hope, new stories and new opportunities for listening."
reggioemilia  utopia  pocketsofutopia  environment  education  preschool  children  learning  openstudioproject  lcproject  sfsh  tcsnmy  everyday  being  cv  culture  presence  togetherness  citizenship  participation  community  civics  democracy  listening 
november 2016 by robertogreco
The Times of Time | Reggio Children
"an interweaving between the learning experiences of the adults, the experimentation of the children, and the photographic images, highlighting an approach to the visual language that is constructed in a context of many relationships"
reggioemilia  utopia  pocketsofutopia  environment  education  preschool  children  learning  openstudioproject  lcproject  sfsh  tcsnmy  everyday  being  cv  culture  presence  togetherness  relationships  photography 
november 2016 by robertogreco
Everyday Utopias DVD | Reggio Children
"Here we present two videos that are part of The Wonder of Learning - The Hundred Languages of Children exhibition.
 
They describe a day in an infant-toddler centre and a day in a preschool: the everyday-ness of being together, the strength of a way of organizing that is designed but light, knowledgeable but flexible; a special care for the environments and the way of being at school, the idea that the infant-toddler centre and preschool are places in which culture is created.
 
Our hope is to “raise normal children as the result of a hard-won and everyday utopia” (Loris Malaguzzi)."
reggioemilia  utopia  pocketsofutopia  environment  education  preschool  children  learning  openstudioproject  lcproject  sfsh  tcsnmy  everyday  being  cv  culture  presence  togetherness  lorismalaguzzi 
november 2016 by robertogreco
Moment(us) teaching — Medium
"At Constructing Modern Knowledge 2016, Carla Rinaldi, president of Reggio Children, gave an impassioned talk to the gathered educators about the lessons of the Reggio Emilia pre-school approach.

She spoke about love, beauty, and respect for children (of all ages) and their learning process. She showed some photos and videos of children learning together and how teachers have the opportunity to make small decisions in this process. To watch or intervene; to ask a question or remain quiet; to suggest an expansion of the complexity of the children’s investigation or to help them simplify their ideas.

What struck me is how quietly these moments happen. These momentous moments are the heart and art of teaching. Not only is this skill too often devalued and disrespected, but the time it takes to listen is dismissed as “wasted.”

Momentous is a word that is usually associated with BIG EVENTS, but the heart of the word is moment — a fleeting second of time where teachers make decisions that are not simple or fleeting.

Too often overlooked and underestimated, the moment occurs only when listening is valued, when respect exists between all the participants, and there is time to slow down and think hard about what to do in that moment."
carlarinaldi  reggioemilia  listening  love  beauty  respect  children  learning  howwelearn  2016  sylviamartinez  observation  intervention  decisionmaking 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Prof Carla Rinaldi on 'Reclaiming Childhood' - YouTube
[For a quick taste, go to 52:15 https://youtu.be/dqgvW-IRXKg?t=3135:

"Schools, in general, they are considered as a place to learn to read, to learn to write, to be disciplined. Especially the schools for the youngest, they are the famous place to pre-: to pre-pare for the future, to pre-pare for life, to pre- pre- pre-. Pre-school, pre-reading, pre-writing. To take children to pre-ordained outcomes. Pre-, pre-. It’s time to really cancel pre- because school is not a preparation for life, but life. It is a real, deep important part of your life. […] School is life. […] Life itself is school, but for sure, school is life. And the question becomes more urgent nowadays because we are talking about the role of school in contemporary society. Contemporary that is a digital era, e-learning, everything. And somebody says maybe it's time to cancel schools. Why do we continue to build schools? Why does a society looking at the future have to continue to have a school? […] I think the answers still continues to be that we need to have good schools because they are a fundamental place of education of the citizen and communities. […] Not only a place to transmit culture, but nowadays more than ever a place to construct culture and values. Culture of childhood and culture from childhood. That means that the children are bearers and constructors of elements that can renew the culture. They are our best source for our renewing culture. […] The way in which they approach life is not something that we observe without them in our life, it is an amazing source for renewing our questions and our way of approaching life. They are the source for creativity, for creative thinking. They can be the source for changing the concept of ecological approach, holistic approach. We have to explain [these] to each other. Children know exactly what it means. […] We continue to talk about teaching nature to children. Children *are* nature."
carlarinaldi  2013  education  schools  teaching  sfsh  childhood  learning  howwelearn  howweteach  reggioemilia  children  agesegregation  aborigines  australia  pedagogy  inclusivity  accessibility  competence  life  living  meaning  meaningmaking  beauty  humanism  humanity  humans  humannature  self-discipline  thewhy  creativity  trust  parenting  unschooling  deschooling  listening  respect  knowing  relationships  joy  canon  otherness  howeteach  makingvisible  ethnography  welcome  reciprocity  community  interdependence  negotiation  rights  nature  culture  culturemaking  responsibility  duty  duties  authority  rule  freedom  co-constuction 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Austin Kleon — John Holt, How Children Learn Children do not...
"After I re-read that section, I was reminded of Laurence Weschler writing about David Hockney, and how “interest-ing” for Hockney is a verb: it is the continual projection of interest. (The more you look at something, the more interesting it gets.) This was certainly the case with me after I started reading this book, and Holt in general: I, who felt like a somewhat enlightened parent, started noting all the ways I wasn’t paying attention to them, and over time, they have become more interesting to me, not because I’m doting on them more, or even spending more time with them, but because I am looking at them like little scientists, or just little people, who are worthy of interest. (It sounds so stupid: of course a parent should find their kids interesting, but think about how many parents and teachers and adults you know — maybe including yourself — who, secretly, probably don’t.)

Holt’s work has really shaken me up, blown my mind, and given me a different way of thinking about my kids. Some of my favorite bits, below."
johnholt  howchildrenlearn  education  learning  children  trust  austinkleon  lawrencewescheler  davidhockney  art  interestedness  interested  interesting  attention  payingattention  noticing  parenting  teaching  howweteach  howwelearn  librarians  teachers  purpose  belonging  work  community  conversation  cv  pacing  meaningmaking  unschooling  deschooling  departmentalization  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  control  independence  anxiety  howchildrenfail  testing  assessment  reggioemilia  punk  games  play  standardizedtesting  love  2016  listening 
july 2016 by robertogreco
The hundred languages of childhood know no age bounds | IOE LONDON BLOG
"Loris Malaguzzi (1920-94) was one of the great educationalists of the 20th century. He was a thinker, but also a doer, a council employee who played a leading role in the evolution of a network of municipal schools in the Italian city of Reggio Emilia, 70 kilometres west of Bologna. Today, the schools and Malaguzzi are an inspiration to those who resist the spread of neoliberal and neoconservative education policies.

Most educationalists won’t have heard of Reggio Emilia or Malaguzzi. This is in part because both are Italian, and most of his work is in Italian. A newly published book – ‘Loris Malaguzzi and the Schools of Reggio Emilia’ – edited by myself and colleagues in Reggio Emilia, aims to rectify this, with English translations of a selection of his writings and speeches, starting in 1945 (when, as he wrote ‘everything seemed possible’). But there’s another reason. Malaguzzi and Reggio Emilia are world famous for early childhood education, a field largely untrodden by the rest of education. Yet Malaguzzi was convinced that he was engaged in a project of educational renewal, which knew no age bounds.

What lessons does Malaguzzi have for all education? He insists that education is, first and foremost, a political practice, always about making choices between conflicting alternatives. One of the most important choices concerns our understanding or image of the child – who do we think the child is? Answer that question, Malaguzzi argued, and all else – policy, provision, practice – follows. Of course every educational policy and service is based on a particular image, but one that is invariably implicit and unacknowledged; policy documents typically neither ask nor answer the question. But Reggio Emilia does.

Malaguzzi insisted that ‘a declaration [about the image of the child] is…the necessary premise for any pedagogical theory, and any pedagogical project’. And he was clear about his image: ‘We say all children are rich, there are no poor children. All children whatever their culture, whatever their lives are rich, better equipped, more talented, stronger and more intelligent than we can suppose’.

Rich children are born with a ‘hundred languages’, the term he used to suggest the many and diverse ways children can express themselves and relate to the world – ranging from manifold forms of art to maths, sciences and technologies. Malaguzzi was damning about the damage usually done to these languages by education: ‘Children have a hundred languages: they rob them of ninety nine, school and culture.’ Instead, he strove to nurture languages, for example through ateliers and atelieristas – art workshops and artist-educators found in most Reggio schools. Atelieristas were also there to confront traditional and narrow pedagogy, to ‘provoke some less convenient directions capable of breaking with the professional and cultural routine.’

For Malaguzzi, education was about constructing new knowledge and thought. He valued wonder and surprise, the unpredicted and the unexpected, making connections and inter-disciplinarity. The strength of Reggio, Malaguzzi believed, was that all the time ‘something unexpected, something that surprised us or made us marvel, something that disappointed us, something that humiliated us, would burst out in a child or in the children.’ While he despised what he termed ‘testology’ – ‘which is nothing but a ridiculous simplification of knowledge and a robbing of meaning from individual histories’ – and its partner ‘prophetic pedagogy’, which knows everything [that will happen], does not have one uncertainty, is absolutely imperturbable… [It] prophesies everything, to the point that it is capable of giving you recipes for little bits of actions, minute by minute, hour by hour, objective by objective, five minutes by five minutes. This is something so coarse, so cowardly, so humiliating of teachers’ ingenuity, a complete humiliation for children’s ingenuity and potential.

If making choices about understandings was an important part of education’s political practice, making choices about values was another. Malaguzzi’s choice included uncertainty and subjectivity, solidarity and cooperation and, perhaps most important of all, participation and democracy. As a ‘living centre of open and democratic culture’, opening out not only to families but also to its local neighbourhood, the school should be capable of ‘living out processes and issues of partici­pation and democracy.’ Democracy, for Malaguzzi, was not just a matter of participant social management and participatory accountability, important as both were; it should suffuse all relationships and practices – democracy in a Deweyan sense of ‘a mode of associated living’.

If Malaguzzi placed political practice first, this did not mean he ignored technical practice. He thought organisation was vital, though always serving politics and ethics, and was constantly asking under what conditions can innovation work. Indeed, it was this attention to organisational detail and technical practice that has enabled the municipal schools of Reggio Emilia to become the most extensive and sustained example of radical, democratic, public education in the world. Faced by a hidebound education system, Loris Malaguzzi showed that there are alternatives, that another world is possible.

A final point needs emphasising at a time when local authorities in England are being squeezed out of any role in the provision of schools. Reggio Emilia’s schools are municipal schools; this innovative experience was initiated and nurtured by the city council. Malaguzzi himself was a council employee, putting me in mind of equally inspired heads of local education authorities in England. As a believer in public, democratic education, embedded in its local community, Malaguzzi thought that the democratic expression of that community, the commune or local authority, should be a main protagonist in the provision of schools for young children (and other services). Academisation may make all the running at present, but Malaguzzi and the schools of Reggio Emilia remind us that there are alternatives."
lorismalaguzzi  reggioemilia  2016  education  pedagogy  emergentcurriculum  politics  italy  children  howwelearn  howweteach  lcproject  openstudioproject  tcsnmy  expression  ethics  organization  innovation  schools  democratic  democracy  alternative  publicschools  community  academization  uncertainty  knowledge  culture  languages  art  policy  solidarity  cooperation  participation  participatory  sfsh 
march 2016 by robertogreco
The Back-to-School-Night Speech We'd Like to Hear* | Psychology Today
"Our top priority here -- and I mean a real, honest-to-goodness commitment, not just a slogan on the website or in a mission statement -- is to learn about and support each student's interests. What questions do they have about the world? How can we help them build on and find answers to those questions? When we meet as a staff, it's usually to think together about how best to do that, how to create a school that's not just academic but intellectual.

We don't want to write a detailed curriculum or devise a bunch of rules in advance and then spend the year demanding that kids conform to them. Our main concern is that what students are learning, and how they're helped to learn it, make sense for the particular kids in a given room. That's why our teachers spend a lot more time asking than telling -- and even more time listening to what the kids wonder about. The plan for learning is created with your kids, not just for them.

Take Ms. _______ and Mr. ________, who are both standing in the back of the room, over there near the fire alarm. (Say hello!) They teach the same grade and the same subjects, but do they have the same curriculum -- the same topics in the same order with the same reading list and assignments? Well, of course not! They teach different kids! And I happen to know that much of what each of them is teaching this year is different from what they were teaching last year. For the same reason.

A good way to tell how successful we are is how excited the students are about figuring stuff out and playing with ideas. Nurturing their desire to learn is more important to us than cramming them full of definitions and dates and details that they're likely to forget anyway. Plus, in my experience, when that excitement is there, academic excellence tends to follow – assuming they've been given the support and resources they need.

So if your children ever seem reluctant to come to school, if you get a sense that they see what they're doing here as a chore, please let us know! Hating school isn't a fact of life; it's a problem to be solved. We're not going to talk about "how to motivate them" or just expect them to "improve their attitude"; it's our responsibility to improve what happens in school. And if it turns out that the curiosity of our students is being smothered by practices that we've come to take for granted, well, we're not going to say, "Too bad. That's life." We're going to rethink those practices.

You want a couple of examples? Well, I think I can safely say -- and feel free, teachers, to contradict me here -- that all of us on the staff used to assume that things like grades, tests, homework, and textbooks were just part of the educational package. So we focused on the details of how we did them -- what seem to us now like piddly little questions. We would solemnly ask: Should grades be posted online -- and what's the best way to do that? Or: Exactly how many minutes of homework should be assigned? Should students be permitted to retake tests? Should textbooks be available digitally? (Boy, that's "innovation" for you, huh? The same collection of predigested facts from a giant publishing conglomerate but, hey, now it's on an iPad!)

Anyway, we gradually realized that because we were so busy asking how to implement x, y, and z, we had let ourselves off the hook by failing to ask whether x, y, or z should be done at all. For instance, a lot of studies have shown that when you give kids grades, they tend to lose interest in what they're learning – and also become less thoughtful in the way they learn it. So if we can offer kids (and also you parents) much more meaningful feedback about how they're doing in school – through written observations and, better yet, in-person conversations -- then why would we risk smothering their excitement about learning by slapping a letter or number on them? We were doing real damage by training kids to think that the point of going to school is to get A's. The solution wasn't to implement “standards-based grading,” or to change “A” to “greatly exceeds expectations,” or ramp up the use of rubrics (which basically take all that's wrong with grades and intensify it). No. The solution was to get rid of grading entirely and replace it with something better. So that's just what we've done. And the results have been nothing short of amazing.

The same thing is true with other old-fashioned practices. Homework creates frustration, anxiety, boredom, exhaustion -- and it's no fun for the kids either! (Ba-dum-bum). So we really paid attention when we discovered teachers -- some in our school, some in other schools -- who had completely stopped assigning homework and found real improvement in the way kids felt about school, about learning, about themselves, and about their teachers -- all without detracting from the quality of their learning. True, kids end up doing less drill and practice when they're free to do what they enjoy after school, but our teachers have gone way beyond the old drill-and-practice approach anyway!

We've seen similar benefits after educating ourselves about how to evaluate kids' understanding of ideas without using tests. And about how textbooks can be left on the shelves, to be consulted occasionally like reference sources, rather than dictating course content. What?? A school without tests or textbooks?? Yes. It's not only possible; it opens new possibilities for learning -- to the point that we wondered why we hadn't ditched these relics years ago.

Well, let's be honest. Some of us wondered that. Others of us are still a little, um, uneasy about completely getting rid of these traditional practices. Some of us understandably need help teaching with primary sources instead of textbooks. Or getting better at knowing how well students are doing (or how we're doing) without giving kids tests and quizzes. Or doing what needs to be done during class instead of saddling kids with more schoolwork after the school day is over.

So we're still struggling with some of this. But we're pretty sure at least we're asking the right questions now. And I'm happy to report that this shift is taking place in all the schools in our district -- elementary, middle, and high schools, since everything I'm talking about tonight is relevant to all grade levels. In fact, at the risk of making your head explode, I could mention that the same is true of a bunch of other features of Old Style education that we're also starting to look at skeptically now: segregating kids by age, or teaching different subjects separately, or even making kids raise their hands so that the teacher alone decides who gets to talk when. If there are solid reasons to keep doing these things, fine. If not, well, "that's the way things have always been done" is a pretty lame justification for not making a change, isn't it?"



"We talk a lot about the importance of creating a caring community of learners. Actually, I guess lots of schools use phrases like that, but one way we prove we really mean it is by making sure we don't do anything that disrupts a feeling of community -- like setting kids against each other in a contest for awards or recognition. The day we start publicly singling out one child as better than everyone else is the day we've given up on the ideal of community. This doesn't mean we don't care about excellence. Just the opposite! Real excellence comes from helping students to see one another as potential collaborators. Sorting them into winners and losers leads each kid to see everyone else as a rival. That undermines achievement (as well as caring and trust) for winners and losers alike. So instead of awards assemblies, you can expect to be invited to student-designed celebrations of what all of us have accomplished together. These ceremonies can be amazingly moving, by the way. If you're used to those rituals where a few kids are called up to the stage to be applauded for having triumphed over their peers, well, you're in for a real treat.

Because we take kids -- all kids -- so seriously here at _________, and because we treat them, and their ideas, with respect, we tend to have remarkably few discipline problems. Few, not none. When there is a problem, we don't talk about it in terms of a kid's "behavior" that needs to be changed; we ask what's going on beneath the behavior. Sometimes what's going on is that something about the school isn't working for that child. That's not a signal to fix the child, to lean on him until he does what he's told. You're sending us your children, not your pets, so we don't use rewards and consequences. We don't bribe or threaten them to make them behave. Hey, we don't like to be treated that way, so why would we treat our students that way? We don't use point systems, or dangle prizes in front of them, or use other strategies of control. Those gimmicks don't really work in the long run, and they're an awfully disrespectful way to treat people of any age. Besides, we find that when the learning is engaging, when our requests are reasonable, when we view students as people to be consulted rather than as bundles of behaviors to be reinforced, most of the time they live up to our expectations. Or even go beyond them.

As the year unfolds, we'll send you occasional letters and e-mails -- and update our website -- about how all this is playing out, about how your child is doing and, more important, what your child is doing. Some teachers host their own blogs or send out periodic newsletters. But don't be worried if sometimes they write things like, "We had a conflict in class that made some kids unhappy so we called a class meeting to work it out" or "Hey, I tried a new way to introduce an unfamiliar concept today, and it bombed so I'm not likely to do that again." If we sent you updates that were always upbeat, implying that every kid loved - and succeeded at - every activity, we'd quickly lose all credibility and you'd discount everything you heard from us. So we'll be tactful but honest in sharing … [more]
alfiekohn  emergentcurriculum  education  unschooling  deschooling  learning  children  schools  priorities  tcsnmy  agency  choice  homework  grades  grading  howwelearn  howweteach  teaching  curriculum  reggioemilia  anxiety  boredom  exhaustion  play  democracy  textbooks  caring  progressive  discipline  behavior  competition  awards 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Our RISD — Playing for Keeps
"Children in eastern China are taking the notion of learning through play to new heights, according to Associate Professor of Industrial Design Cas Holman, who has been collaborating with educator Cheng Xueqin to design tools for kids that complement her vision for learning. Over the past 14 years, Cheng has developed a comprehensive play-driven educational model for China that is being used to incredible effect in 120 public preschools in Anji County.

“Anji Play is about joy and agency and allowing kids to develop as whole people,” says Holman. “The play is completely child-directed; teachers don’t even prompt them about what to build. When playtime is over, the children draw ‘play stories’ to visually communicate what they made and what questions they were trying to answer.”

Holman observed the system in action during a trip to China last month and plans to return in August to work with factory directors on creating a core set of high-quality materials – ladders, barrels, blocks and the like – with consistent specs. She’s also working with Cheng’s team to help adapt the model for use in the US and other western countries.    

The approach to play at these Chinese preschools is one Holman has long advocated for through her own work. As she notes in this newly posted opinion piece for Fast Company, “The ideal toy for a child is not a toy at all but something they’ve appropriated for play.”

[Direct link to video: https://vimeo.com/120218237 ]

[See also: https://www.fastcodesign.com/3048508/the-case-for-letting-kids-design-their-own-play ]
play  children  china  kindergarten  schools  education  casholman  chengxuegin  design  schooldesign  toys  student-directedlearning  reggioemilia  via:ablerism  roleplaying  preschool  anjiplay  anji 
july 2015 by robertogreco
A Bad Education | The Pedagogical Impulse
"PH: … I don’t want to make art that’s about say­ing that I did some­thing. I want to make art that does some­thing. I don’t always care whether peo­ple under­stand or not that I am doing it, but I want to know for my own sake that what I did had that impulse.

To me, that’s the enor­mous gap between art that claims to be about social change, and art that embod­ies social change. And that is why the rela­tion­ship between ped­a­gogy and art is absolutely cru­cial, because ped­a­gogy and edu­ca­tion are about empha­sis on the embod­i­ment of the process, on the dia­logue, on the exchange, on inter­sub­jec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and on human rela­tion­ships. The prod­uct may or may not be nec­es­sary or impor­tant. But it can­not hap­pen if this exchange does not take place. Art, tra­di­tion­ally, has not always been about the process. Ulti­mately in a museum when you look at a paint­ing, the process of its mak­ing is inter­est­ing to know, but it is not essen­tial to expe­ri­enc­ing the work. What mat­ters is that it’s there; that it hap­pened. In socially engaged art, that is the oppo­site: what is impor­tant is the process, and the process is inex­tri­ca­ble from the experience.

HR: What you are say­ing reminds me of some­thing that Shan­non Jack­son men­tioned in her talk at Open Engage­ment this past year. She said some­thing to the effect of what looks like inno­va­tion in one field may be old news in another field. And I’m think­ing about this in the way that some processes of edu­ca­tion are taken up in socially engaged art.

I was read­ing a bit about Reg­gio Emilia before I came to meet you, because I had learned that you have a Reg­gio Emilia com­po­nent in the show down­stairs. I found this quote by Loris Malaguzzi: “We need to pro­duce sit­u­a­tions in which chil­dren learn by them­selves, in which chil­dren can take advan­tage of their own knowl­edge and resources… We need to define the role of the adult, not as a trans­mit­ter, but as a cre­ator of rela­tion­ships — rela­tion­ships not only between peo­ple but also between things, between thoughts, with the envi­ron­ment.”[ii]

PH: Sounds a lot like socially engaged art, right?

HR: Right! But I wanted to ask you about where we diverge. It feels like we may be in a com­pro­mised posi­tion. As artists there is an imper­a­tive to par­tic­i­pate in a cycle of pro­duc­tion, to be acknowl­edged as authors, or to be thought of as pri­mary authors, and to par­tic­i­pate in an art dis­course. In what way do we have to diverge from edu­ca­tional processes?

PH: We still belong to a tra­di­tion of art mak­ing where things acquire dif­fer­ent mean­ings depend­ing on the con­text. So like Duchamp’s uri­nal, of course it’s use­ful as a uri­nal and when it becomes art it becomes use­ful in other ways as art. And like what Tom Fin­kle­pearl was say­ing, it’s time to put the uri­nal back in the bath­room[iii], because we’ve come to a point where the use­ful­ness of art as aes­thet­ics has run its course. So it’s time to go back and think about aes­thet­ics as some­thing that func­tions in the world in a dif­fer­ent way.

Which cre­ates an inter­est­ing prob­lem: why don’t we just aban­don aes­thet­ics alto­gether? Why don’t I just become a Reg­gio Emilia edu­ca­tor since their phi­los­o­phy is close to what I do? Maybe I should just move to Italy and teach lit­tle kids. There’s this ten­dency by young artists of think­ing: “maybe I’m just doing some­thing ill informed and ridicu­lous, and I might as well just become a pro­fes­sional in what­ever field I’m inter­ested in. Maybe I should become a hor­ti­cul­tur­al­ist”, or what­ever. The other side is that the artist is per­form­ing roles that are osten­si­bly per­formed bet­ter by pro­fes­sion­als of those dis­ci­plines, like in Rirkrit’s case: the edu­ca­tors do it so much bet­ter than them, so why is he get­ting the credit? And why is what edu­ca­tors are doing not con­sid­ered art? Why should a mediocre edu­ca­tion pro­gram be cel­e­brated as this won­der­ful rela­tional aes­thet­ics piece, when a won­der­ful edu­ca­tion pro­gram that really changes people’s lives can never be con­sid­ered an impor­tant artwork?

So the issue is really, what is the con­tex­tual social ter­ri­tory where this takes place? Where are you stak­ing your claims? And where are you pro­duc­ing crit­i­cal­ity? To sim­ply say that Reg­gio Emilia is a great art­work is com­pletely untrue. That’s not their goal; their goal is to cre­ate bet­ter cit­i­zens for the world, etc. As an artist, what becomes really inter­est­ing is to con­sider this think­ing within the con­text of art mak­ing, the con­text of the role of art in soci­ety. Art, for bet­ter or for worse, con­tin­ues to be this play­ing field that is defined by its capac­ity to rede­fine itself. You can­not say, “This is not art!” because tomor­row it could be, or “It can be art,” because I say it is. Art is a space, which we have cre­ated, where we can cease to sub­scribe to the demands and the rules of soci­ety; it is a space where we can pre­tend. We can play, we can rethink things, we can think about them backwards.

But just to clar­ify: when I say that Reg­gio Emilia is not real art, I don’t think it’s enough to make art with “pre­tend” edu­ca­tion. I don’t think one should jus­tify the use of any sem­blance in edu­ca­tion for the sake of art, as was the case of that children’s activ­ity by Rirkrit I described, unless if you are just meant to be jok­ing or play­ing (which is not very inter­est­ing to begin with). My point is that when you are mak­ing cer­tain claims, or even gen­er­at­ing cer­tain impres­sions about what you are doing, you need to do them in an effec­tive way in order to really affect the world, oth­er­wise your artis­tic inter­ven­tion in the social realm is no dif­fer­ent from mak­ing a paint­ing in the stu­dio. And there is a dif­fer­ence between sym­bolic and actual intervention."



"PH: Why is it that we can be very crit­i­cal of stan­dard art­works that we under­stand the para­me­ters of? We can be very crit­i­cal of this work because we are very famil­iar with for­mal­ism and with abstrac­tion, and there are a slew of the­o­ret­i­cal approaches. When­ever you do an abstract paint­ing that looks exactly like Mon­drian, peo­ple will tell you that your work is not very rel­e­vant because you’re just copy­ing Mon­drian. And yet, you’re com­pletely home free if you do this con­cep­tual project of a school that doesn’t teach any­body and where nobody learns any­thing, but it looks really great in the press release.

HR: So by “abstract edu­ca­tion” you meant projects that use the lan­guage and frame­work of edu­ca­tion, but don’t func­tion as education?

PH: It’s com­pli­cated. Because I don’t want to say that it’s bad to do that. Some­times you just want to do a project that’s about the idea of this or that. You want to do a project that’s about dance; it doesn’t mean that you have to dance. It’s very dif­fer­ent to do a paint­ing about war, than to par­tic­i­pate in a war.

That’s why in my book, Edu­ca­tion for Socially Engaged Art, I tried to address this prob­lem by mak­ing a dis­tinc­tion between what I under­stand as sym­bolic ver­sus actual prac­tice. What I tried to argue in the book is that in art, the strongest, more long­stand­ing tra­di­tion is art as sym­bolic act; art that’s a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the world. You make an art­work that is a thing on its own, but it addresses the world. Guer­nica is a sym­bolic act. It tells you about the hor­rors of Guer­nica, the mass killings.

In the 60s that starts to change, artists don’t want to do things about the world; they want to do things that are acts in the world. That’s why per­for­mance art emerges. I’m not going to make a the­atre piece where I pre­tend to be x, y or z. I’m going do a real live action where I am Pablo Helguera and I’m talk­ing to you, Helen. And we’re going to have this expe­ri­ence, and this expe­ri­ence can only pos­si­bly exist in this moment in time and never again, any­where else. And that’s what this art­work is about. That’s what Fluxus was about, that’s what John Cage talked about, and that’s what Alan Kaprow’s hap­pen­ings were about; it’s a very Zen idea. Suzanne Lacy’s per­for­mances, for exam­ple, they were about these women at this moment. It might be art his­tory later. It might later become a prod­uct. But the fact of the mat­ter is that what it is at that moment can never be repeated.

So, to me, socially engaged art emerges from that tra­di­tion of the here-and-now. What the “here-and-now” means, in my view, is that the artis­tic act is inex­tri­ca­ble from the time/place con­text, but that it also affects it in a very direct way. The work needs to be under­stood, described, and pos­si­bly eval­u­ated and cri­tiqued in terms of what those actual events were. When­ever you don’t have that infor­ma­tion, which is unfor­tu­nately most of the time, there is no way to know whether it hap­pened or not. Those projects that you know are really cre­at­ing an impact, that they have a pres­ence; it’s almost self-evident. I mean what­ever you want to say about Tania Bruguera’s Immi­grant Move­ment Inter­na­tional, you can go there today and see it. It’s hap­pen­ing right now. She isn’t mak­ing it up.

HR: Can you talk about the ten­sion between use­ful­ness, ambi­gu­ity, and learn­ing out­comes? You men­tion that we eval­u­ate things all the time any­way. How do you eval­u­ate art ped­a­gogy projects?

PH: Cre­at­ing an … [more]
via:ablerism  2015  art  education  helenreed  pablohelguera  socialpracticeart  pedagogy  reggioemilia  informal  accountability  relationships  arteducation  artschools  learning  howwelearn  teaching  howweteach  institutions  revolution  resistance  stabilization  socialengagement  conversation  critique  criticism  alternative  altgdp  museums  museumeducation  schoolofpanamericanunrest  usefulness  ambiguity  outcomes  evaluation  happenings  performance  performanceart  fluxus  hereandnow  taniabruguera  johncage  suzannelacy  context  socialchange  experience  everyday  openengagement  shannonjackson  aesthetics  buckminsterfuller  power  artschool 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Design tutorials: the basics | SB129
Within design education, there’s little shared wisdom about how to conduct a tutorial. The tutorial is the bread and butter of design learning; the main pedagogic object of interaction. But we, the design community, rarely share the nuts and bolts of how to navigate and steer a student through a successful project; how to encourage, provoke, inspire and lead a designer into new and fascinating territories.

In this post, I’d like to outline a few basics. It’s me, stating the obvious, in what I consider good pedagogic practice; how best to support, guide and get the most out of students and their work.

I believe the things I’ve learnt over the last ten or so years are applicable to other disciplines and within the professional context of design. Whether as a Creative Director or a Design Manager, the following points are a good place to start when it comes to directing creativity;

Listening is Key

At the heart of a good tutor is their ability to listen. Understanding ideas, position and intent allows for more connected, meaningful feedback. Asking questions to clarify is key to aiding your understanding. Sometimes students take a long time to get to the salient point, they can skirt around the topic due to a lack of confidence, confusion or perception of expectation, so be patient, let them ‘talk out’, only respond when you understand what’s in front of you. Wait until nerves die down to get to the heart of the matter, then you’ll be in the best position to advise.

Ownership and embodiment

It’s all to common for design tutors to try to design vicariously – to direct a student in a way that they would do the project. This, in my opinion, is a flawed approach. It has a history in the master/apprentice model of education; watch, copy, admire, repeat (where learning is a happy side effect). However, it rarely allows the student to feel ownership over the content and learning experience.

Within Art and Design, intellectual ownership is a tricky subject to navigate. The messy and complex network of ideas become distributed across a number of different references, conversations and people, the genesis of an idea is difficult to locate. Tutors that have a ‘that was my idea’ attitude rarely survive or remain happy and motivated. Intellectual generosity is an essential quality of a good educator. Having the humility to understand and value that the adoption of ideas ‘as their own’ is an important part of learning – it allows for the embodiment of the ideas into the identity of the designer.

Mutual exploration

However, in the age of the Internet, the tutor as gateway to all knowledge is long gone. The ability (or illusion) of a Professor having read ‘everything’ in their discipline is a distant memory. When knowledge is acquired and disseminated in such a radically different manner, it calls for educational revolution. Sadly, the rise of the MOOC isn’t the revolution I was hoping for.

The abolishment of levels and the flattening of hierarchies are at the heart of how I believe education needs to change. Breaking the often fictitious boundaries between teaching and research to allow for the mutual exploration of ideas is a fundamentally different model of education. Sadly, due to financial scalability, this remains relevant only to an elite. But as a tutor, see your conversations with students as a space to explore ideas, be the learner as much as the teacher. Reframe higher education away from the hierarchies of expertise towards mutual exploration of the distant boundaries of your discipline.

Expanding possibility space

It’s important to remember that a tutorial should be expanding the cone of possibility for the student. They should leave, not with answers, but with an expanded notion, a greater ambition of what they were trying to achieve. It’s important to be ambitious and set tough challenges for your students, otherwise boredom or (heavens forbid) laziness can take over. Most student’s I’ve met love being thrown difficult challenges, most rise to the occasion, all learn a great deal. In order to move towards the goal of a self determined learner, the student should control the decisions of the design process. If you’re telling them what to design, not opening up possibilities and highlighting potential problems, you’re probably missing something.

Understand motivation, vulnerability and ‘learning style’

Every student we teach, learn in a different way, have different hopes and desires, react to feedback in a different way. Navigating and ‘differentiating’ these differences is really difficult. Some tutors take a distanced intellectual approach, where the content in front of them is a puzzle that needs to be solved, this is the classic personae of the academic, distanced, emotionally arid, intellectually rigorous. But this doesn’t alway mean a good learning experience. Other tutors operate on a more psychological level; the try to understand the emotional context of the situation and adapt their advise accordingly. Whatever happens, understand you have a individual in front of you, they have lives outside of the studio, they are going through all manner of personal shit that will effect their attention and engagement. They come from different cultures, different educational backgrounds, so their response to your advice is going to shift like the wind, be adaptive, read body language and don’t go in like a bulldozer (I have definitely done this in the past!).

In terms of learning style, without this becoming a paper on pedagogy, understand that your advice need to be tailored to different students. Some (a lot) need to learn through a physical engagement with their material, others needs to have an intellectual structure in place in order to progress. Throughout a project, course or programme, try to understand this and direct your advice accordingly.

Agreed direction

Tutorials shouldn’t just be general ‘chats’ about the project or world, they should give direction, tasks and a course of action. I have a rule: Don’t end the tutorial until you’ve both agreed a direction. This can be pretty tough to manage in terms of time, as I get more experienced, I get better at reaching an agreement within my tutorial time allocation, but I still often can overrun by hours. The important thing to work towards is the idea that you both understand the project, and you both understand how it could move. End the tutorial when this been reached.

Read and respond

It’s really important, in design, to respond to what is in front of you. To actual STUFF. It’s far too easy to let students talk without showing evidence of their work. This is a dangerous game. Words can deceive, hide and misrepresent action. Dig into sketchbooks, ask to see work they’ve done. If they haven’t done anything, ask them to go away and do something to represent their ideas and thoughts. Production is key to having a productive tutorial. Only through responding to actual material evidence of action can a project move forward. At its worst, students can develop the skill to talk about stuff, making it exciting in your mind, but fail to produce the project in the end. But this isn’t the main reason for this section, it’s more about the ideas of design residing in the material production, not just the explication. You can tell me what you believe something does or means, but it’s only when it’s in front of me that I can fully grasp this.

The art of misinterpretation

Another reason why it’s important to dig into sketchbooks and look at work, is that looking at something and trying to work out what it means – the space of interpretation – is an important space of learning. By interpreting and indeed misinterpreting work, you and your student can find out things about the project. If the student intended one thing and you understand something else by it, you’ve at least learnt that it was poorly (visually and materially) communicated. But the exciting stuff happens when misinterpretation acts as a bridge between your internal mental processes (with all references etc) and your students. Your reading of a drawing acts as a way to generate a new idea or direction. This is when there is genuine creative collaboration.

References

One of the roles of a tutor is to point students towards relevant and inspiring resources. In the age of the internet, when student’s roam the halls of tumblr and are constantly fed inspiration by their favourite design blogs, the use, meaning and impact of tutor driven references has changed. Be focussed with reading, ensure students know why they are looking at a particular reference and make sure that you contextualise the work within the ideas that they have."
mattward  2013  teaching  pedagogy  cv  howweteach  howwelearn  design  art  tutotials  canon  listening  ownership  understanding  interpretation  misinterpretation  embodiment  making  exploration  apprenticeships  hierarchy  hierarchies  possibilityspace  motivation  vulnerability  feedback  constructivecriticism  context  empathy  conversation  audiencesofone  differentiation  contextualization  process  documentation  reflection  reggioemilia  emergentcurriculum  evidence  assessment  critique  communication  collaboration  mentoring  mentorship  mentors  response  action  direction  mutualaid 
april 2014 by robertogreco
with Mairangi Bay School
"Quick observations, questions and experiments based on interactions with Mairangi Bay School - a small-ish primary school with high education standards located on Auckland's North Shore (New Zealand).

The cooperation of the school in allowing my participation in school events is acknowledged and appreciated. All opinions are my own responsibility.

By Chris Berthelsen: a-small-lab | chris@a-small-lab.com "

[See also: http://es.scribd.com/doc/212377075/Volcano-Walk-with-Mairangi-Bay-School-2013 ]
chrisberthelsen  children  exploration  unschooling  deschooling  ethnography  newzealand  play  curiosity  learning  nature  reggioemilia 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Let's Stop Focusing on Shiny Gadgets and Start Using Tech to Empower People | Wired Opinion | Wired.com
"Even though Red Burns was one of the most influential figures in the tech industry over the past 30 years — most famous for co-founding the groundbreaking Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at NYU, and in a sense, the beginnings of interaction design — it’s not uncommon for technophiles to have never heard her name. Two weeks ago, she passed away. But much more needs to be said about one of the smartest, gutsiest women I ever knew, and about what she thought about education, technology, design … and life.

Red wasn’t particularly interested in IPOs or the latest tech fetish, even though she was always exceptionally proud of her students and their accomplishments. She knew that technology was a means to an end — and that the end was people.

In that simple reframing from technology to empowerment of people, I believe there’s something everyone one of us — whether designer, programmer, entrepreneur, investor, teacher, student, parent, or child — can learn from Red. Especially in a world where we tend to focus on teaching kids to code, debating the flatness of the latest iOS, or discussing the newest and shiniest device still searching for a meaningful application.



But Red wasn’t that interested in technology per se; she saw it as something you needed to get to the real work: improving people’s lives, making them feel more connected, bringing delight in big and small ways, and empowering them to affect change.

When Red co-founded ITP in 1971, most people were aspiring to get to color TV, but she was dreaming of ways to turn the media ecosystem upside down. Among her many projects was two-way television for and by senior citizens — one of the first Teletext field trials in the United States. She was passionate about turning “consumers” into creators, and her work and philosophies foretold of some of the most successful products of the digital age: YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

“I’m not going to teach you any software programs. Software changes. Technology changes. You are here to learn how to learn.” Those are the first words I recall hearing from Red in my very first class at ITP.

It wasn’t a coincidence that Red created ITP inside NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts rather than the computer science department; she wanted the program to be filled with dreamers, inventors, artists, and change-makers. She questioned the status quo and continued to do so as an educator and industry provocateur.

Today, the program Red co-founded represents the most innovative higher ed laboratory for what design, technology, and art can do when brought together in new and inventive ways. When I attended ITP in the mid 1990s — on the eve of the explosion of the commercial web and the birth of New York’s Silicon Alley tech scene — my class was filled with an unlikely cohort.

Many students, including myself, had little experience with technology. There were teachers, artists, filmmakers, policy experts, lawyers, musicians, and even a sword swallower from the Coney Island sideshow. Red relished finding people from every corner of the globe, and from every background and walk of life you could imagine.

This deep, abiding belief in the importance of diversity in the collaborative process is one of the many values I inherited from Red. When it came to finding students for that next class at ITP, she was less interested in the answers people brought to the table; instead it was all about the questions.

Red could have filled her classes with cookie-cutter 4.0 students with pedigrees from the elite undergraduate institutions of the world, and to be clear, there were some of those. She was famous for saying it was harder to get into ITP than it was to get into medical school. But Red was much more interested in the level of curiosity and passion an individual brought to the ITP community, and she knew there were many different ways to be “smart”.

Imagine what would happen if more schools, companies, and organizations thought this way, and the new kinds of engagement, learning, and invention that might take place.

Red had a strong belief that important concepts were discovered through play. This is a common notion in modern preschool education, but certainly isn’t the norm inside most companies, where efficiency and the bottom line rule the day and new ideas suffocate before they get a chance to catch on. It’s perhaps even less of a norm within most university settings, where supporting professors’ work and bringing prestige to the educational institution itself is paramount, so students often get lost in the mix.

Just one walk down ITP’s halls during a spring or fall student show reveals that it’s like no other educational environment in the world. The shows are more than the average tech “demo days” that tend to attract hungry entrepreneurs, recruiters, and investors. They draw in people from every walk of life — toddlers and grandparents, businessmen and artists, dreamers and doers — and the projects represent a diversity of ideas that open the mind to new possibilities.

I sometimes describe ITP to those not familiar with it as “Kindergarten for grownups”, but also love another description I once heard: “Engineering for poets.” Both of those convey the wonderfully fuzzy space between art and technology where so many new and important ideas are born. In this way, Red and her educational philosophies developed both the right and left sides of the brain by teaching artists to code and engineers to empathize.

There is much to be learned from Red’s teaching philosophies — really, a way of thinking. Not just for programs looking to replicate the magic of ITP, but for companies and other organizations and individuals, too. There’s a certain shorthand of understanding that takes place whenever ITP alums encounter each other, as I have during my time working at Google and Facebook. We may not know exactly what background or hard skills each brings to the table, but we know we are likely dealing with an open, curious spirit; a great collaborator; and someone who is human-centered in the way he or she approaches problem solving."
redburns  technology  design  criticism  criticaldesign  margaretstewart  itp  2013  diversity  humanism  humanity  openstudioproject  tcsnmy  lifelongkindergarten  reggioemilia  poetry  accessibility  computersareforpeople 
november 2013 by robertogreco
La Educación Prohibida | Un proyecto audiovisual para transformar la educación…
"La Educación Prohibida es una película documental que se propone cuestionar las lógicas de la escolarización moderna y la forma de entender la educación, visibilizando experiencias educativas diferentes, no convencionales que plantean la necesidad de un nuevo paradigma educativo.

La Educación Prohibida es un proyecto realizado por jóvenes que partieron desde la visión del quienes aprenden y se embarcaron en una investigación que cubre 8 países realizando entrevistas a más de 90 educadores de propuestas educativas alternativas. La película fue financiada colectivamente gracias a cientos de coproductores y tiene licencias libres que permiten y alientan su copia y reproducción.

La Educación Prohibida se propone alimentar y disparar un debate reflexión social acerca de las bases que sostienen la escuela, promoviendo el desarrollo de una educación integral centrada en el amor, el respeto, la libertad y el aprendizaje."

[Direct link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1Y9OqSJKCc ]
tolstoy  democratic  democraticschools  freeschools  escuelaactiva  sudburyschools  sudbury  2012  asneill  summerhill  españa  perú  español  prussia  schooliness  montessori  waldorf  rudolfsteiner  johntaylorgatto  williamkilpatrick  rosaagazzi  agazzisisters  johannheinrichpestalozzi  olvidedecroly  célestinfreinet  olgacossettini  emmipikler  reggioemilia  mariamontessori  ivanillich  paulofreire  schooling  history  schools  parenting  learning  education  progressive  deschooling  unschooling  colombia  ecuador  uruguay  argentina  chile  laeducaciónprohibida  spain 
august 2012 by robertogreco
This Ain’t Montessori’: (Mis-)Appropriating Pre-K Education at DML 2012
"Taking Antero’s lead, I’d like to use this space to problematize not just JSB’s presentation of the role of Montessori in universally “cultivating the entrepreneurial learner,” but also to specifically call attention to the absence of early childhood educators and scholars in the DML space, and why it should matter to all of us.

JSB argued that through the lens of Montessori’s philosophy, today’s digital technologies hold unparalleled possibilities as “curiosity amplifiers.” Montessori teaching values tacit learning, or the development of key practices, habits, and “know-how” that can only be learned through personal experimentation. However true, Montessori is NOT the only model of early childhood education that values embodied play and learning. While the guys at Google might have grown up and thrived going to schools inspired by the pre-WWII teachings of Maria Montessori, how about inviting to the metaphorical sandbox another Italian pioneer of early childhood education…"

[via: http://www.theamericancrawl.com/?p=1004 ]
curiosity  idealization  mariamontessori  dml2012  learning  education  earlychildhood  ece  reggioemilia  montessori  2012  merylalper  anterogarcia 
july 2012 by robertogreco
A look at the Reggio Approach
The Reggio Approach is a complex system that respects and puts into practice many of the fundamental aspects of the work of Dewey, Piaget, and Vygotsky and many others. It is a system that lends itself to: the role of collaboration among children, teachers and parent, the co-construction of knowledge , the interdependence of individual and social learning and the role of culture in understanding this interdependence. (Baji Rankin 2004).
A network of communication exists between the children, parents and teachers of Reggio. These three protagonists work together to create the spirit of co-operation, collaboration, and co-construction of knowledge. They work together interacting toward a common purpose; the building of a culture which respects childhood as a time to explore, create and be joyful. Each of these three protagonists has rights within the school. Those of the children were highlighted earlier.
Ask their own questions, and generate their own hypotheses and to test them.
To explore and generate many possibilities both affirming and contradictory. She welcomes contradictions as a venue for exploring, discussing and debating.
She provides opportunity to use symbolic languages to represent thoughts and hypothesis.
She provides opportunity for the children to communicate their ideas to others.
She offers children, through the process of revisiting the opportunity to reorganize concepts, ideas, thoughts and theories to construct new meaning.
She is a keen observer, documenter, and partner in the learning process.
Each day the teachers reflect on the experiences of the children always mindful to watch for “the ants instead of always waiting for the elephants”
children  learning  education  reggioemilia  teaching  school  tcsnmy  vygotsky 
may 2012 by robertogreco
Reggio Emilia approach - Wikipedia
The Reggio Emilia Approach is an educational philosophy focused on preschool and primary education. It was started by Loris Malaguzzi and the parents of the villages around Reggio Emilia in Italy after World War II. The destruction from the war, parents believed, necessitated a new, quick approach to teaching their children. They felt that it is in the early years of development that children form who they are as individuals. This led to creation of a program based on the principles of respect, responsibility, and community through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment based on the interests of the children through a self-guided curriculum.
As children proceed in an investigation, generating and testing their hypotheses, they are encouraged to depict their understanding through one of many symbolic languages, including drawing, sculpture, dramatic play, and writing. They work together toward the resolution of problems that arise. Teachers facilitate and then observe debates regarding the extent to which a child's drawing or other form of representation lives up to the expressed intent. Revision of drawings (and ideas) is encouraged, and teachers allow children to repeat activities and modify each other's work in the collective aim of better understanding the topic. Teachers foster children's involvement in the processes of exploration and evaluation, acknowledging the importance of their evolving products as vehicles for exchange.[4]
children  design  education  wikipedia  reggioemilia  teaching  schools  tcsnmy 
may 2012 by robertogreco
Everyday Utopias
Everyday Utopias are two video documentations from The Wonder of Learning: Hundred Languages of Children exhibition, They describe a day in an infant-toddler center and a day in a preschool, the everyday-ness of being together, a special care for the environment, and the idea that the infant-toddler center and preschools are places in which culture is created.
learning  education  reggioemilia  thirdteacher  teaching  schools  documentary  tcsnmy 
may 2012 by robertogreco
PBL and Buck Institute for Education Day 2
[Gary Stager:]
I didn’t say that Reggio Emilia is a model that can be transported to the US, although you could study and learn from what their teachers do for the rest of your life. In fact, the educators from Reggio Emilia are explicit in their refusal to be perceived of as a model. They prefer approach.

[See the comments, especially. Bookmark points to them. Gary Stager quoted here.]

"I was struck by how much time and emphasis was spent on assessment when the subject was supposed to be project-based learning.

With all due respect to Dean, there is no such thing as assessment for learning. Assessment is always for teaching or the system. As I have said in other venues, “assessment in any form always interrupts learning.” It is up to the educator to determine the tolerable level of interruption. In any case, it has zero to do with learning.

Assessment is about ranking, sorting, labeling, ass-covering, etc… To the extent that it must exist at all, it is the teacher’s problem and should be kept as far away from the learner as possible!

I see a lot of professional development advertised as learner-centered, PBL or progressive where the agenda is really about assessment. This is false advertising.

From a practical standpoint alone, if we need teachers who understand how to teach better in more authentic, learner-centered, PBL-like ways, then why isn’t the PD focused on improved teaching.

Spending time instead of assessment (or backward design) seems like the tail wagging the dog.

Gary

PS: Rubrics are just a sneaky form of grades that constrain the power of project-based learning, not enrich it. But of course, I may be wrong."

[someone else’s response here, followed by more Stager, worth reading in the context of the conversation, but some more quotes to follow]

"Deep-fried baloney!

I think you’ve had too much Texas Education Agency bug juice. Assessment has nothing to do with learning. Without a school system, the term assessment would never be used. It would have no meaning.

Indeed, assessment is something done to others. Learners learn, think – perhaps even reflect, but they don’t assess themselves UNLESS coerced to do so. Learning is a natural act. Assessment is not.

Assessment is a tool the powerful uses to assert their will upon the less powerful (as per your employer example).

By the way, why are you justifying the argument that learning is assessment by citing a workplace example? Are you suggesting that students are workers? Employees?

Is your view of the workplace too narrow? In other words, are there jobs where work product is not measured in the same crummy ways used by school? I don’t share your resignation about parents and assessment. I’m a parent. I don’t give an armadillo’s ass about it.

I did not say that PBL is about assessment. I did share an observation that lots of PD ABOUT PBL seems disproportionately focused on assessment.

I think teachers learn about PBL by learning in a setting that supports such learning. I share resources and examples here – http://constructingmodernknowledge.com/cmk08/?p=1263

I was trying to make a point regarding truth in advertising. If a workshops is sold as being about learning or teaching, then how come so much time is spent on assessment? There is much about good teaching that can be taught.

I describe the elements of a productive context for learning here – http://constructingmodernknowledge.com/cmk08/?p=1110 (I think this is one of my most important piece of writing in years. It has been largely ignored.)

Rubrics are particularly dishonest and flawed. Read: http://bit.ly/vmKkyy & http://bit.ly/aevK10

I’ll come back to my original point. Assessment always disrupts the learning process. The acceptable level of disruption is between each teacher and her conscience."

"Two things I forgot to say:

1) I agree with the educators of Reggio Emilia. It is the job of a teacher to be a researcher capable of understanding a child’s thinking and making it visible.

2) Much of what is sold as project-based learning is barely richer or more relevant than traditional school assignments. The desire to “design” a project is fraught with peril and may extinguish serendipitous learning.

Less us, more them!"

"One more thing…

If teachers are required to engage in assessment schemes, they should be kept as far away from the learner as possible.

Assessment is the teacher’s busywork, not the students’."

"I don’t know Scott. You seem awfully pessimistic to me.

I didn’t say that Reggio Emilia is a model that can be transported to the US, although you could study and learn from what their teachers do for the rest of your life. In fact, the educators from Reggio Emilia are explicit in their refusal to be perceived of as a model. They prefer approach.

That said, LOTS of people and organizations, say Buck, are quick to provide models right here at home.

I actually think that the result of project-based learning should be a terrific product. Otherwise, you’re just playing along to someone else’s “problem.” It is through the construction of something shareable that the richest learning occurs (constructionism) AND kids are capable of doing extraordinary work. We just don’t provide many opportunities for them to do so; nor do we help them develop the fluencies necessary to achieve mastery.

I stated clearly that assessment interrupts learning, but it is up to each educator to determine an acceptable level of interruption. Why do you find this offensive?

If my definition of assessment is too narrow, yours and Dean’s is certainly way to broad. All human communication is not assessment. Assessment is not reflection. Assessment is something DONE TO someone else.

Definition of ASSESS (Merriam-Webster)
transitive verb
1: to determine the rate or amount of (as a tax)
2a : to impose (as a tax) according to an established rate
2b: to subject to a tax, charge, or levy
3: to make an official valuation of (property) for the purposes of taxation
4: to determine the importance, size, or value of
5: to charge (a player or team) with a foul or penalty

Synonyms: impose, charge, exact, fine, lay, levy, put

We can go around and around over this, but your use of the term isn’t even consistent with the dictionary definition."
reggioemilia  education  assessment  learning  garystager  deanshareski  scottsfloyd  tcsnmy  pbl  projectbasedlearning 
may 2012 by robertogreco
A Late Night Chat on Assessment · willrich45 · Storify
"Proving that you can have an interesting, meaningful, civil chat on Twitter about an important topic. Next time, I hope these guys have it while I'm awake."
interruption  instruction  conversation  constuctivism  lcproject  tcsnmy  lisanielsen  heidiechternacht  standardizedtesting  schools  teaching  learning  reflection  roblyons  derekbraman  joebower  garystager  johnspencer  maryannreilly  reggioemilia  deschooling  2012  unschooling  education  willrichardson  storify  assessment 
april 2012 by robertogreco
The Seven Spaces of Technology in School Environments on Vimeo
"Matt Locke originally came up with the concept of the Six Spaces of technology (http://test.org.uk/​2007/​08/​10/​six-spaces-of-social-media/ ​). I added a seventh earlier this year, Data Spaces, and have played around with how education could harness these spaces, and the various transgressions between them, for learning.

This short presentation tackles the potential of adjusting our physical school environments to harness technology even better. What happens when we map technological spaces to physical ones?

You can see more of the detail behind these thoughts over on the blog:

http://edu.blogs.com/​edublogs/​2010/​10/​-cefpi-clicks-bricks-when-digital-learning-and-space-met.html "

[via: http://twitter.com/irasocol/status/86712955856629760 See also: http://www.notosh.com/2011/01/consultancy-new-schools/ via http://twitter.com/ewanmcintosh/status/86721281147404288 ]
ewanmcintosh  2010  classroom  classroomdesign  gevertulley  tinkering  tinkeringschool  teaching  pedagogy  adaptability  digital  physical  learning  unschooling  deschooling  fidgeting  privatespaces  groupspaces  dataspaces  technology  fujikindergarten  mattlocke  blogging  flickr  blogs  watchingspaces  participatory  participationspaces  thirdteacher  performingspaces  space  publishing  twitter  stephenheppell  design  place  lcproject  classideas  tcsnmy  reggioemilia  classrooms 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Speculative Diction: Places of Learning
"While we can’t necessarily change the buildings we’re in, we can be sensitive to their use, to our adaptation to the context provided. And we can ask ourselves questions. What would the building look like if we began by asking how people learn? How do people meet each other and form learning relationships? If you could design your own workspace, your own learning space, what would it look like and why? This need not involve a major reconstruction project. If the university had taken these things into account before renovating our program space, the same amount could have been spent and things might have looked, and felt, very different."
howwelearn  education  highereducation  highered  meloniefullick  place  flow  serendipity  exchange  conversation  schooldesign  learningplaces  learningspaces  architecture  thirdteacher  context  learning  informallearning  informal  engagement  reggioemilia  tcsnmy 
march 2011 by robertogreco
The Virtues Of Play | Wired Science | Wired.com
"Nietzsche said it best: “The struggle of maturity is to recover the seriousness of the child at play.” While parents might be tempted to enroll their kids in preschools that seem the most “academic,” that’s probably a mistake. There is nothing frivolous about play."
education  play  children  psychology  games  reggioemilia  montessori  kindergarten  preschool  unschooling  deschooling  jonahlehrer  nietzsche  learning  academics  reading  math  tcsnmy  schools  damagedbyschools  cognition  parenting 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Trung Le speaks at TEDxReset | The Third Teacher
On February 10th, Le had the opportunity to speak at TEDxReset in Istanbul, Turkey. The TEDx event assembles an enthusiastic crowd of free minds interested in "resetting" the Turkish reality and asks "What if?" Le was one of two American speakers and segues into his talk referencing a Ken Robinson clip shown beforehand. You can now watch his talk on Vimeo and below you will find his presentation as well as photos of his talk."
trungle  thirdteacher  schooldesign  learning  education  tcsnmy  studioclassroom  cv  teaching  schools  unschooling  design  deschooling  iteration  architecture  pedagogy  reggioemilia 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Reggio Emilia: An innovative approach to early childhood education
"If the Reggio environment plays an important role as ‘3rd teacher’, the 1st teacher (parent) and 2nd (classroom teacher) are even more important. Parents are involved in school decision-making, kept thoroughly up-to-date on child’s progress, & depended on for info about their child’s home experience…Teachers always teach in teams of 2, collaboration being considered tantamount to strength. 6 non-contact hours weekly support the teachers’ demanding tasks of documentation, project guidance, & liasing w/ other staff & parents…children could be named the ‘4th teacher’ –if not the first—in the Reggio programme, for they are valued as ‘teachers’ in their own right, to be learned from, listened to, & respected. Children are seen as being born complete w/ the ability to discover the world they have entered. The teacher’s role is never one of superiority or dominance, but of listening & guidance. Strong bonds form btwn teachers & children, who stay together through a 3-year span."
reggioemilia  teaching  looping  learning  lcproject  tcsnmy  schools  pedagogy  education  parenting  thirdteacher  environment  schooldesign 
december 2010 by robertogreco
SpeEdChange: The Third Technology
"I began my week in Virginia talking about "Colonialism in Education." The idea that we must not insist that the only way for children to succeed is to become clones of the educational policy makers. & I ended the week talking mostly about architecture & ecological systems & environments. Because this "third technology" - that environment - enframes both what we - adults in school - do, & what students see & imagine. If a class has desks in rows, only a few things can happen. If a class has a variety of spaces, many more things can. If classrooms have open views of the school & outside, learning is seen in a continuum, if a classroom has paper covering the door window & drawn blinds - we are telling children that learning starts & stops in a defined space. & if kids are comfortable they will imagine, dream, & investigate. & if they are not, they will resist & shut down."
irasocol  schooldesign  environmentaldesign  design  schools  learning  lcproject  tcsnmy  architecture  thirdteacher  reggioemilia 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Big City - East Harlem School Helps Students Find Passions - NYTimes.com
"If the popular Reggio Emilia approach to preschool — which empowers the students to drive the curriculum and relies heavily on art — continued to older grades, it might look a little like the Manhattan Free School."
education  alternative  learning  schools  lcproject  freeschools  manhattan  manhattanfreeschool  nyc  unschooling  deschooling  reggioemilia  schooling  democratic  tcsnmy 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Kids aged 3-6 pretty much the same for last 85 years « Computing Education Blog
[See also: http://www.hepg.org/hel/article/479 ]

"Isn’t it great that somebody is doing studies like these? The Gesell Institute for Human Development has assessed 3-6 year olds since 1925, and finds that kids in 2010 behave pretty the same — despite the intensity of new kindergarten curriculum. The article really argues that all the training in new kindergartens, on numbers and letters, leads to more memorization but no more learning. The bottomline is that play-based curriculum seems to still work the best for these ages."
children  play  learning  kindergarten  schools  schooling  curriculum  wastedenergy  reggioemilia  tcsnmy  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  education  memorization  emergentcurriculum  toshare 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Redesigning Education: Building Schools for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math | Co.
"Now is the time to reflect on the reasons for students' disengagement from science and technology subjects. We need to treat STEM as a pedagogical approach and design an environment to support this new way of teaching. Brian Greene, a best-selling author and theoretical physicist best known for his work in string theory, talks passionately about how we have educated the curiosity out of the math and sciences. Greene says that we have paralyzed our children with the fear of being wrong. Risk-taking and making mistakes are critical to the scientific process. This fear of being wrong has resulted in disengagement from science and mathematics: learning science and math is a drag! He makes a convincing assessment of the problems with our current science education system and stops just short of demanding a new pedagogy to bring excitement and relevance back to the learning of science and math."

[from a series: http://www.fastcodesign.com/users/tle ]
trungle  stem  science  education  math  mathematics  learning  schools  teaching  exploration  experientiallearning  handsonlearning  inquiry  tcsnmy  thirdteacher  inquiry-basedlearning  briangreene  reggioemilia 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Redesigning Education: Designing Schools in a Spiky World | Co.
"We need to build new environments that support experiential, creative & individualized learning. School of One...exemplifies this personalized approach to learning. Via tech-based platforms, students are given personalized lists of learning objectives, which allows all learners to achieve their daily learning objectives at their own pace. Better yet, the school supports students’ multiple intelligences thanks to a diversity of teaching strategies, which include virtual tutoring & video game-based learning."

[part of a series: http://www.fastcodesign.com/users/tle ]
trungle  education  schooldesign  tcsnmy  learning  children  teaching  schools  lcproject  schoolofone  tinkering  tinkeringschool  gevertulley  exploration  handson  experientiallearning  thirdteacher  reggioemilia 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Redesigning Education: Why Can't We Be in Kindergarten for Life? | Co.
"The kindergarten classroom is the design studio. All of the learning activities that take place inside...is freakishly similar to the everyday environment of my design studio in the "real world." In an architectural design studio, we work as an interdisciplinary global team to solve the complex problems of the built environment in a variety of different cultural contexts. We do this most effectively through storytelling--sharing personal experiences--w/ support of digital media & tools. A variety of activities--reflective & collaborative, right-brain & left-brain--happen simultaneously in an open environment. Like the design studio, the kindergarten environment places human interaction above all else."

[from a series: http://www.fastcodesign.com/users/tle ]
kindergarten  lifelongkindergarten  tcsnmy  design  classroomasstudio  schooldesign  learning  lcproject  howwework  howwelearn  cv  teaching  student-centered  learner-centered  toshare  topost  thirdteacher  trungle  reggioemilia 
july 2010 by robertogreco
June 21, 2010 – Comments on The Third Teacher from David Greenspan, Architect | The 3rd Teacher
"You get an order from the school board that says, 'We have a great idea. We should not put windows in the school, because the children need wall space for their paintings, and also windows can distract from the teacher.' Now, what teacher deserves that much attention? I'd like to know. Because after all, the bird outside, the person scurrying for shelter in the rain, the leaves falling from the tree, the clouds passing by, the sun penetrating: these are all great things. They are lessons in themselves. Windows are essential to the school. You are made from light, and therefore you must live with the sense that light is important. Such a direction from the school board telling you what life is all about must be resisted. Without light there is no architecture."
louiskahn  schools  schooldesign  commonsense  windows  schooling  unschooling  deschooling  teaching  light  observation  experience  thirdteacher  reggioemilia  tcsnmy 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Redesigning Education: Why Can't We Be in Kindergarten for Life? | Fast Company
"The learner-centered paradigm should extend beyond the kindergarten classroom. Unfortunately, most educational institutions follow a model that creates an impersonal environment where adults, teaching, and authority are at the center. The studio-like environment of the kindergarten classroom succumbs to a rigid structure of disconnected subject-based classrooms and curricula. Naturally, the physical environment parallels this transition, moving from an open, multi-zone learning environment to a prototypical, teacher-centric mode of direct instruction. The collaborative student-teacher team and its dynamic atmosphere are replaced with the "sage-on-the-stage," front-teaching wall model."
tcsnmy  learning  schools  schooling  lcproject  classroomasstudio  teaching  kindergarten  lifelongkindergarten  creativity  collaboration  classrooms  mit  education  design  student-centered  sageonthestage  thirdteacher  unschooling  deschooling  reggioemilia  classroom 
may 2010 by robertogreco
March 8, 2010 - Dharavi District Redevelopment: A Symbol of the Future and a Celebration of Cultural Heritage | The 3rd Teacher
"Education across the globe is transforming from a pedagogy that trains children to be information receptors to a pedagogy that trains future generations to be knowledge seekers. An environment that supports “multiple intelligences” is imperative—it must provide a diversity of teaching and learning spaces to support a wide range of learners. Flow and agility will be intrinsic in these spaces so that the knowledge sharing and relationship between teacher and learner is constantly enhanced."
education  schools  schooldesign  pedagogy  learning  lcproject  design  thirdteacher  india  mumbai  dharavi  reggioemilia  tcsnmy 
march 2010 by robertogreco
December 18, 2009 – We Are The People We've Been Waiting For | The 3rd Teacher
"Edge is an independent education foundation, based in the UK, which is dedicated to raising the stature of practical and vocational learning to match the emphasis currently placed on traditional academic training. Edge recently produced a documentary titled ‘We Are The People We’ve Been Waiting For.’ The film explores the role of education in equipping our children with the tools they need to face the challenges of our rapidly changing world. The Third Teacher contributor, Ken Robinson, is featured in the film. Here is a short yet powerful trailer:" [more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRi8_fXz1D8 AND http://www.wearethepeoplemovie.com/ AND http://www.youtube.com/user/WeAreThePeopleMovie ]
education  kenrobinson  thirdteacher  documentary  traditional  academics  vocational  learning  schools  schooling  diversity  film  lcproject  adaptability  change  reform  society  publicschools  industrial  gamechanging  onesizefitsall  tcsnmy  unschooling  deschooling  reggioemilia 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Inner Child Dept.: Cool for School: The Talk of the Town: The New Yorker
"Last week, the Blue Man Creativity Center (it can’t call itself a school until it gets state accreditation) welcomed forty-three boys and girls between the ages of two and four to its first day of classes and mayhem."
art  children  play  education  schooldesign  preschool  learning  creativity  bluemangroup  lcproject  reggioemilia  tcsnmy 
september 2007 by robertogreco

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