In march 2013, through Creative Scotland PEP funding, I attended a week-long course at reggio Emilia in Italy. I was interested in understanding just how some of the learning strategies could be adapted to meet the needs of adults with profound learning disabilities.
I entered this week, feeling unsure as to what on earth this week would have to do with anything I was involved in. I knew there was a link, given that it is about an approach, that people had recommended that I go.I was completely out with my comfort zone, in a lecture theatre for one whole week with early education teachers. I was advised to go in with an empty head, leave myself open to possibilities, with the help of cups of incredibly strong coffee my head opened and then exploded.
What have I learned?
That once you have developed an approach to ways of working, you should always look for other ways of working, there should be times for reflection, but it should always be about flexibility and moving forward. Never thinking that what you had is right.
That documentation of the process is key. It is important to break down what we do, looking at the individual and their responses, charting these responses in order that other people can understand the process. It will also help us to understand what we are actually doing and why we are doing it.
That it is important to be imaginative about how we meet to discuss ideas, that there are many different ways to talk about our work, and many different ways to use people’s experience of it to help us move on. Meetings should reflect this.
Crossover with Artlink work
As far as I can see crossover with Reggio falls within the following:-
1. Exploring and sharing interests – learning from each other
2. Documentation needs to be structured in order to hold the memory of what’s been done. It will allow us to take stock, to construct a collective memory. Even if the images collated are of poor quality. Creating memory is key.
3. Working across communities of interest – involving people from different walks of life in relation to what is to be learned
4. Multi sensory
5. Continued learning from each other and from new experiences