Monday, 5 March 2018

Relationships of Learning

"A child's play is not simply a 
reproduction of what he has experienced,
but a creative reworking of the 
impressions he has acquired."


 The learning environment is rich in possibilities and has been curated carefully to engage the children creatively as they make meaning about the world around them. Often the children in our class bring toys from home to school. We have observed the children use these treasured toys in creative ways during play. 

Today a toy dirt bike inspired exploration and learning within the classroom. One of our year one children began this exploration by creating texture in the play dough using the dirt bike's wheels. First he flattened the dough with his hand and then he carefully observed the effects of the wheels as he zoomed the dirt bike back and forth over the dough. A few children gathered around and were drawn into his exploration. A friend asked if he could draw the dirt bike. After gathering the necessary materials from the atelier they sat at the table and discussed the dirt bike. Noticing many of it's details and sharing their own personal experiences with dirt bikes the friend began to draw the toy dirt bike. 

Their discussion reflected respect, curiosity and a desire to share their understanding of the dirt bike through drawing. After completing the first drawing the dirt bike continued to inspire and a second drawing was completed. This time the dirt bike was placed on the green paper and traced before the details were added. I wondered if they thought this might give a more accurate silhouette of the dirt bike. The dialogue inspired by the dirt bike continued and they decided to cut both drawings out once they were completed.

The interaction of the toy dirt bike within the learning environment and it's materials generated a beautiful moment for these two children. It made visible their ability to collaborate, discuss, create, tell stories, share experiences and build knowledge together. 

Learning is built on relationships with materials, the environment but most importantly our relationship with each other. As we journey with the children through our emergent curriculum program we enter into the relationship of learning. Thus, providing the scaffolding for current wonders as well as provoking future explorations and driving the learning forward. All of this is built on a relationship formed out of respect and trust. I am grateful to have witnessed this lovely moment and honoured to have documented it preserving the learning for reflection. 

"In Reggio the process
of learning involves making
connections and relationships
between feelings, ideas, words and actions."

Debbie LeeKeenan and John Nimmo