In their best-selling book, From Teaching to Thinking, Ann Pelo and Margie Carter quote Lilian Katz: "The content of the relationships between teachers [in the United States] and their pupils tends to be dominated by information about the child's conduct and level of performance. Thus it seems that the content of relationships between teachers and children in our early childhood settings, when not focused on mundane routines, is about the children. In contrast, my impression of Reggio Emilia is that the content of teacher-child relationships is focused on the work itself, rather than mainly on routines or on the children's performances on academic tasks. Adults' and children's minds meet on matters of interest to both of them."
Pelo and Carter go on to say: "This could be written about the relationships between program supervisors, mentors, and coaches and educators. Too often, the focus of our interactions with educators is administrative and logistical – the 'mundane routines' that Katz references, and educators' compliance with standards-related tasks.
But as pedagogical leaders striving to support educators as thinkers and researchers, we don't squander our interactions with educators on discussions of paperwork and scheduling, which surely don't invite educators into inquiry…we understand that every interaction we have with educators is professional learning and communicates what we value in their classroom practice."
Naturally, children are eager for connective relationships, they are curious, they are thinkers. This foundational text is a pedagogical companion for educators that strengthens their own development as thinkers, researchers, innovators, and constructors of knowledge so that they can pass on this way of being to the children in their care.
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