Some of the more powerful educational experiences are those that tap into our natural inclination for play. Lifelong learners are those who have learned, first and foremost, that learning can be playful.
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Personifying idealized wisdom is a powerful way to make it easier to relate these ideas to our daily lives. Judging teachers by idealized standards of teaching, however, can be dangerous.
Operating from the empowerment model is powerful whether we work with teachers, parents, or even the students themselves (e.g. when encouraging meaningful project work). Sadly, many in the industry operate from the deficit model.
Reggio Emilia teachers appreciate the importance of being a reflective practitioner, drawing on Schön's research. This describes the metacognitive layer of teaching, where an awareness of their own biases helps them be a better teacher.
The real world is not often as alien a landscape as the forest within which my brother and I were lost for over eight hours. But navigating the real world is often just as confusing and mysterious. Good teachers are a compass in that exploration.
Reggio Emilia teachers specify three different things they seek to achieve: 1) make visible the way they are a teacher; 2) make visible the languages and intelligences of the children; 3) make visible the relationships in school.
We must believe in children as active, engaged, and fundamentally curious about the world around them. When given the opportunity, they are capable of remaining with questions and themes for several weeks at a time, and are able to work alongside peers and adults.