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Switch It Up
August 26, 2019
If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play.
-John Cleese

“Are we doing things just because we’ve always done them that way?” asks Kim Turner in the book, Art of Leadership: Cultivating an Early Childhood Curriculum. She describes her experience teaching at Boulder Journey School in Boulder, Colorado, where staff are encouraged to continually think outside the box and find better ways of working with children, all inspired by the pedagogy of the schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy. “Educators constantly add new materials and move existing materials to other areas of the classroom,” she writes. “The children help redesign classrooms, offering suggestions on where to move pieces of furniture, and oftentimes, moving furniture and materials themselves.”

In a recent New York Times article, this philosophy is highlighted by author Katherine Hobson:

“Reggio holds that children and teachers shouldn’t be limited to materials marketed for early childhood education, said Alison Maher, executive director of the Boulder Journey School. They choose between fine art materials such as clay, tools, reclaimed materials, natural materials like plants or modern tech, depending on the context and community, Maher said. (In her school, when children worried that fish in two different tanks couldn’t communicate with each other, teachers used computers to set up a FaceTime connection between the tanks.) Many schools have a room dedicated to art — in Italy called an ‘atelier’ — often with a specialized arts teacher (‘atelierista’ in Reggio-speak).”

Source: “What Are Reggio Emilia Schools,” by Katherine Hobson, parenting.nytimes.com, August 16, 2019

The Art of Leadership
Cultivating Curriculum
in Early Childhood Organizations

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A high-quality curriculum is at the core of a high-quality early childhood program. Cultivating Curriculum in Early Childhood Organizations provides practical, down-to-earth advice from leading experts on curriculum development. Content focuses on child development, curriculum principles, environmental design, and program evaluation.

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Comments (1)

Displaying 1 Comment
Leslie Williams · August 26, 2019
Lebanon Hands on Learning Community Childcare
Philadelphia, Pa, United States

I'm learning a lot of information about childcare that will really help me, for when i open up my childcare in 2021.

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