A dynamic forum focused on the experience of childhood and the process of learning

“Listening is not easy. It requires a deep awareness and at the same time, a suspension of our judgments and    above all our prejudices; it requires openness to change. It demands that   we have clearly in mind the value of the unknown and that we are able to overcome the sense of emptiness and precariousness that we experience whenever our certainties are questioned.”

-Carlina Rinaldi

Observing, Listening, and Thinking

Educators who are Reggio-inspired know that their first responsibility is to pay attention. They watch and record the play and learning of the children, their words, their behavior, their interactions and their strategies. They listen to and respond to the children, provide materials, conversations and experiences that scaffold the children’s ideas and encourage them to take new steps in their learning. Reggio-inspired educators collaboratively cultivate the skill of asking provocative, open-ended questions that prompt learners to deepen their thinking. They continuously reflect on the learning process with other educators and with parents to probe more deeply what and how the children are thinking.

Careful listening is often the genesis of project work. Long and short-term projects are ways of supporting the natural inquiry process of children and building on their interests. Such investigations are co-constructed by adults and children who collaborate to explore a particular topic in some depth. They may involve a large group, a small group or individuals and may last a day, a week, a month or much longer. Opportunities are given for children to revisit their work and to reflect on their learning before, during and after a project. Displays and records of their experiences demonstrate the process of learning and show its value to teachers, parents and the community.

All content and articles may be used for educational purposes with proper citation (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License).

Reggio-Inspired Network of Minnesota is a 501(c)3 non-profit located at 525 Pelham Blvd. N., Saint Paul, MN 55104 

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