It is in our commitment to the image of the strong and capable child that we identify children as active protagonists with unlimited potential who are eager to interact with and contribute to the world.
Kate acknowledged the strong image of the child in her setting through the
recognition of each child as being a capable and curious learner.
She viewed the
children as being rich in potential with a desire to learn, discover, communicate
and relate to other people. Consistent with this principle, Kate recognized the
importance of listening and using the ideas that emerged from the children to
direct the project work and documentation process for learning.
Kate viewed children as experts in the setting, something she had seen
encouraged in Reggio schools in Italy. She commented that teachers (in
Australia) seem to be a bit scared of having children who are experts in things or
the kids who are seen as the smart ones in maths but that is not the case in Italy
(01.1.3). She further explained this concept by discussing how the strengths of
the children are promoted and utilised without hindering the learning of others.
Kate further described this view of the expert in her interview.
It promotes self-esteem and I have seen this happen in my class
where the children are happy to have the expert working on
something and that they will come back later and share things
Kate recognised the importance of listening to children and having the time to
acknowledge their theories, ideas and understandings of the world. She
commented that this time needs to be valued and that the children need time to
reflect on ideas, discuss and have time to change ideas (01.1.7). The importance
of time in relation to time to listen to children, time to share and discuss ideas
and time to have in depth conversations with children was a common thread
throughout Kate’s interviews and journal entries. Even with reporting time
pressures, Kate remained committed to sharing this scarce resource with
children, stating that time is important for the children to speak and share ideas…
that they have the freedom of choice if they do have an idea about something
(01.1.2). She noted the sharing of power with them, saying that children need lots
of time to talk. I ask questions as a guide but I like to give ownership to the