Notes from Reggio Emilia 2

imageNotes on Research – reggio style

Education is about research. It would be of interest to shift focus from day care to education, looking at the way people with profound learning disabilities learn. Supporting people to explore their own particular interests on their terms. Allowing them to take it in their own particular direction. Regardless of ability. All we need to do is take the time to understand how people with profound learning disabilities learn?

In the talks they mention research. Going beyond education into social and cultural, looking at continuity of interest. Why are they so fixated on this? Perhaps one reason is that we don’t all find the idea of continuity in the places that we work and live. Social systems should be an essential part. There still exists a strong distinction between learning by experience and learning by structure. Still kept distinct and separate. Strong idea that learning is linear, follows from one stage to another. This learning goes from simple to complex and complicated. Young people and what happens outside of school life, preschool is simple then when children’s go to primary school learn through instruction. This is what happens, strategies are enacted. Even though research tell s us the opposite. Research is interested in Spirals of learning, where we go back continuously to the same concepts of learning but in different ways. Humanise education and learning, take it away from the techniques move to the pleasure of learning – try to find ways to make it more equal.

Learning is about participation in the social life of the community. Opening the dialogue. Discovering the centrality of the person who is doing the learning. We need to find a different vocabulary, change on cultural and social level. First thing to propose is that education generates quality of life for citizens. Work together in order to work on quality. Debate or discussion increases the involvement of those taking part. The starting point should be that education is a primary fundamental right. It’s essential to life and individual well being. A means of valuing and giving value to individual and collective intelligence. It’s a common good. Available to everybody and a responsibility of the collective community. Creating a community which uses every member to inform and educate on their terms. A way of working which encourages everyone to learn from each other.

Documentation is a way of making visible the process and debate within the community.

The person who is learning is at the centre, the person is engaged in a relationship with the things that they are learning about and with the Adults responsible for their learning. This way of thinking is transferable. Imagine a day centre as a place of learning where we all could  learn from each other?

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