Friday, September 9, 2016

Fall 2016 Class 1: Why?

What does it mean?
We can't help but ask these questions.
We are supposed to ask these questions.
Children often ask these questions.
This week, one of my toddler friends, asked me "Why?"

I love that first words are Da, Mom, ball, love, NO, etc...
But, can we remember our child's first question?
Maybe it was "Why?"
Children are searching for meaning in all that they do.
Watch their play.
Watch their eyes.
They are trying so hard to understand this world.
They want to interact with the world.
They want to communicate with you.
One of my favorite Cat Stevens (or Yusuf Islam ) songs: Father & Son.
This particular lyric always gives me pause:
"From the moment I could talk, I was ordered to listen"
A truth.
We demand our child's attention so often.
"Do you hear me?"
This is why I love Piaget and Vygotsky and the educators in Reggio Emilia, Italy.
They are listening to children.
They believe the child has so much to teach us.
"We cannot live without meaning, because that would leave our lives empty of identity, hope, or sense of the future. Children know this; they have desire and ability to search for the meaning of life and their own sense of self as soon as they are born."
The Hundred Languages of Children p. 234
Carlina Rinaldi
The pre-primary schools in Reggio have a Pedagogy of Listening.
This is the heart of what they believe.
It's not a curriculum.
It is a Philosophy.
When you are at Wonder Studio, we are trying to listen to the children.
Rinaldi says," Real Listening requires the suspension of judgments and prejudices. 
If you believe that others are a source of your learning, identity, and knowledge, you have opened an important door to the joy of being together. We are not separated by our differences but connected by them. 
It is because of my difference that I am useful to you because I offer another perspective."
p. 236
We come to this place searching for meaning.
We want to provide a context for making meaning.
We believe that the Arts and Sciences and play provide this opportunity.
"When they ask "Why?" they are not simply asking for the answers from you. They are requesting the courage to find a collection of possible answers."
p. 239
Children want our conversation. The picture above and the 2 below perfectly illustrate my point.
Connection through creativity.
The arts provide a meaningful context to begin a conversation with you.
Are you ready to listen?

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