I recently returned from Melbourne where I had the pleasure of attending a workshop at The Guardian Pedagogical Exchange hosted by Kerrie O’Neill, Director of Early Childhood Hub and a founding committee member of the Reggio Emilia Australia Information Exchange. The group was given a tour of their facilities including their Exhibition, Workshop, Piazza & Childcare Centre.
We were nothing short of amazed. Once the overwhelming feeling had subsided we began taking in as much information as we could, so that when we returned we could share our newly-found knowledge and inspiration with our team.
Shortly after, we began the workshop. Our topics were Documentation and The 100 Languages of Children. It is one thing to hear a colleague relay information that they have gathered from workshops but being there in person, having the chance to express ideas with the host, hearing firsthand their thoughts and beliefs… it was simply incredible. Kerrie did not miss a beat.
Documentation. I’m sure it’s a word you have heard quite a bit by now. What I didn’t realise before attending the workshop was how simple it can be. How great of an impact one image can make. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Nothing could be truer. I have a new-found inspiration for the way I document each child’s learning, ensuring I document every little detail.
‘The child has a hundred languages, a hundred hands, a hundred thoughts, a hundred ways of thinking, of playing, of speaking.’ Children aren’t restricted by one way of thinking, so why should we restrict their learning with ours? What captured me the most during the workshop was how capable children really are. When you give children the right tools and opportunities they will shock you with what they can achieve. They truly are incredible.
I have found myself filled with overwhelming joy and inspiration for my career since returning, watching each child day to day and seeing just how capable and involved they can be in their own learning. I am full of excitement to continue to implement what I have learnt into every new day and see where the learning takes us.