robertogreco + earlychildhood   13

Decolonising Early Childhood Discourses Project
"After the demise of apartheid, South African higher education has been concerned with gender and class, but no attention has been paid as yet to age as a category of exclusion. In particular child and childhood has not been included in postcolonial discourses about the transformation of higher educational spaces and curricula. Despite decades of sustained academic critique and contestation in early childhood research, current programmes of study globally and the pedagogies promoted in their courses still assume the essentialised, universal western child who develops according to a stage-like linear process of formation according to his or her innate potential (developmentalism).

This project seeks to bring together national and international experts from the arts, humanities, social and natural sciences, to investigate how a new theoretical framework - one that is grounded in critical posthumanism, the affective turn and socially just pedagogies can explain this injustice and inform decolonising postdevelopmental theories and practices in higher education. What will be examined in particular is how critical posthumanism could contribute towards a reconfiguration of childhood in the design and content of postcolonial curricula and research projects. It includes some internationally acclaimed experts and philosophers and early career emerging researchers, incl Karen Barad and Rosi Braidotti. More than 30 team members interact, share and disseminate ideas with each other and more broadly, through colloquia and writing workshops as well as social media and synchronous virtual meeting spaces.

This research project seeks to provide intellectual spaces - both face to face and virtual, for philosophers, theorists and practitioners to interact across diverse geographical contexts to engage in debate and deliberation about posthumanism, the affective turn and the impact that these bodies of knowledge have for decolonising early childhood, in particular developing approaches which have resonance for southern perspectives and contexts. Hence, the bringing together of highly rated experts in the field from Southern continents: Africa, South-America and Australia as well as Europe (Netherlands, Sweden, UK, Cyprus), US and Canada. One of the critiques that posthumanism is based on is the unproblematised Eurocentric character of knowledges - white, male and particularly relevant in this context, adult - which are assumed to be applicable in all contexts and which have been used to subjugate other knowledges in their dominance. The researchers on this project are acutely aware of these practices and one of the objectives of the project is to investigate and problematise knowledges from both Northern and Southern contexts, with an eye on developing and evaluating postcolonial posthumanist frameworks to innovative higher education pedagogies, research practices and academic programmes across departments and Faculties."
children  decolonization  childdevelopment  pedagogy  education  posthumanism  karenbarad  rosibraidotti  postedevelopmentalism  learning  philosophy  developmentalism  eurocentrism  criticalpedagogy  earlychildhood  preschool  unschooling  deschooling  lcproject  openstudioproject 
may 2018 by robertogreco
DECOLONISING EARLY CHILDHOOD DISCOURSES PROJECT
​"This project seeks to bring together national and international experts from the arts, humanities, social and natural sciences, to investigate how a new theoretical framework - one that is grounded in critical posthumanism, the affective turn and socially just pedagogies can explain this injustice and inform decolonising postdevelopmental theories and practices in higher education. What will be examined in particular is how critical posthumanism could contribute towards a reconfiguration of childhood in the design and content of postcolonial curricula and research projects. It includes some internationally acclaimed experts and philosophers and early career emerging researchers, incl Karen Barad and Rosi Braidotti. More than 30 team members interact, share and disseminate ideas with each other and more broadly, through colloquia and writing workshops as well as social media and synchronous virtual meeting spaces."
posthumanism  education  earlychildhood  karenbarad  rosibraidotti  pedagogy  injustice  childhood  children  curriculum  sfsh 
march 2017 by robertogreco
Common World | Research Collective
"The Common Worlds Research Collective is an interdisciplinary network of researchers concerned with our relations with the more-than-human world. Members work across the fields of childhood studies, early childhood education, children’s and more-than-human geographies, environmental education, feminist new materialisms, and Indigenous and environmental humanities.

We approach our lives as situated and embedded in ‘common worlds’ (Latour, 2004). The notion of common worlds is an inclusive, more than human notion. It helps us to avoid the divisive distinction that is often drawn between human societies and natural environments. By re-situating our lives within indivisible common worlds, our research focuses upon the ways in which our past, present and future lives are entangled with those of other beings, non- living entities, technologies, elements, discourses, forces, landforms.

Common worlds researchers are involved in two strands of inquiry. One strand experiments with feminist common worlds methods. The other strand features inquiries into children’s common worlds relations with place, with the material world, and with other species."
children  childhood  education  indigenous  environment  geography  earlychildhood  commonworlds  brunolatour  human  nature  multispecies  feminism  place  experientialeducation  interdisciplinary  sfsh  experientiallearning 
march 2017 by robertogreco
This is Anji Play — Anji Play
[previously: https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:3c2ce79a5e29 ]

"Love, Risk, Joy, Engagement, Reflection

Anji Play is the internationally-recognized early childhood curriculum developed and tested over the past 15 years by educator Cheng Xueqin. Today, Anji Play is the curriculum of the 130 public kindergartens in Anji County, China serving more than 14,000 children from ages 3 to 6. Through sophisticated practices, site-specific environments, unique materials and integrated technology Anji Play is quickly establishing itself as a new global standard for early childhood education. Love, Risk, Joy, Engagement, Reflection, these are the guiding principles of Anji Play.

[Read more: "The inspiring story of Ms. Cheng's revolutionary movement of True Play" http://www.anjiplay.com/about ]

True Play

A movement of children, teachers, families and communities
In the kindergartens of Anji, children lead their own play and self-expression. They chose what, where and with whom to play. Self-determination in play, ownership of discovery and learning in play and the time and freedom to express complex intentions in play means that Anji Play is True Play.

Teachers, parents and grandparents support the growth and reflection that takes place in the classroom and bring their inter-generational and inter-cultural experiences of play to the materials and environments both in school and in the community at large.

Anji Play is equitable and universal. Every child in Anji County has access to Anji Play kindergartens. 99.5% of children 3-6 years old in Anji County attend Anji Play schools regardless of their legal status or financial means.

[more: http://www.anjiplay.com/rights ]

Environments

Minimally-structured, open-ended environments allow children to explore, imagine and create. In Anji Play, these environments are designed to maximize opportunities for imaginitive play and contact with natural phenomena and elements. Water, earth, trees, bamboo, ditches, tunnels and hills are among the environmental features that engage children in endless exploration and discovery.

Materials

Minimally-structured, open-ended materials allow for risk, building, discovery and teamwork in Anji Play. Many of the materials are large and substantial and challenge children to stretch their hands and arms as they disover new ways to build their own playscape. The materials of Anji Play were designed over years based on experimentation and observation of their use by the children of Anji.

Activities

Observation, reflection, expression and technology play crucial roles in the practices of Anji Play. Anji teachers are keen observers. During the day, teachers record the play that takes place at school with their smart phones. In the afternoon, during Play Sharing, the photos and videos from that day are projected in the classroom and the children discuss their experiences, insights and discoveries as a group. After Play Sharing, children have access to variety of materials and draw, paint, collage and otherwise express their experiences that day through Play Stories."


[See also:
https://anjiplay.tumblr.com/
https://www.instagram.com/anjiplay/
https://vimeo.com/user37626288
https://twitter.com/anjiplay ]
anjiplay  china  anji  education  children  play  earlychildhood  schools  lcproject  openstudioproject  sfsh  love  risk  joy  engagement  reflection  howwelearn  learning  chelseabailey  chengxueqin  casholman  jesserobertcofino  time  space  environment  materials  rights  childrensrights  responsibilities  expression  peagogy  teaching  howweteach  imagination 
december 2016 by robertogreco
In test-based systems, even young kids resist learning
"Children show a vastly improved ability to absorb knowledge when they are allowed to make some of their own decisions about what they want to learn.

Testing, in other words, gets in the way – and worse.

Indeed, as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation comes up for re-authorization this week President Obama has himself stated that testing should be cut down to “a bare minimum.”

Testing was introduced by policymakers during the eighties as a way to measure how much kids were learning in classrooms. But now there is research that shows it is detrimental and that technology may offer better ways to track learning.

Learning skills in first grade

My own research has shown that children develop a range of sophisticated capabilities when their learning environments allow them, at least in part, to decide how and what they learn.

I spent four years in Texas first grade classrooms, as part of my Agency and Young Children project where students - mostly children of immigrants - were allowed to choose research topics, move freely around their classroom, and collaborate on projects.

I observed these young children gain critical literacy and numeracy skills. Children, who had initially refused to learn English, became so engaged that they started writing Spanish and English words to label a model volcano. Instead of resisting learning in English or Spanish, they started asking for more and more words.

When children feel comfortable sharing their stories, they write better. When children can initiate conversations, they are more likely to listen to one another. And when children have what I call “agency” or the ability to influence or make decisions in their learning, they develop a wider and deeper range of capabilities than just standard math and literacy skills.

It was policy-makers, who without much input from teachers, researchers or parents, started pushing for testing, starting in the 1980s and leading upto the early 1990s.

Over time, it was seen that testing was not the best measure. Researchers at Stanford have, in fact, found that testing is a terrible, stand-alone measure of accountability.

Other evidence against testing has been mounting as well. Earlier in 2015, teachers testifying to Congress emphasized the effects of standardized testing on teaching and learning from NCLB.

Creative use of technology could replace testing

Perhaps, the most troubling of these are the harsh realities of how testing pressures change the learning experiences of kindergarteners and preschoolers.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) argues that testing for young children should be developmentally appropriate as well as have some benefit to the child.

In an attempt to move away from testing, some teachers are using technology to broaden and deepen the ways children can demonstrate what they know and can do. Relatively accessible recording devices found on phones, iPads and cameras can be used by children to demonstrate what they are learning.

For example, I recently visited a teacher in Austin who is using croak.it to share with parents what their children are learning about the civil rights movement and ideas about race, justice and community.

Early testing leads to labeling, and parent anxiety

Testing emphasizes learning as “right and wrong answers”, which is not the way most kids learn. Kids have been shown to learn through trial and error as well as discovery. Testing values directions and achievement over creativity and a range of learning experiences.

In addition, early testing leads to early labeling, parent anxiety as well as teacher recruitment and retention issues. Testing has a demonstrable detrimental impact even on children’s happiness.

As an early childhood teacher educator, I find myself sympathizing with teachers who, under pressure from administrators and policymakers, have to prepare young children to be successful on tests that begin in third grade.

Testing has pressured teachers to move away from experiments, discovery and creative projects to more instruction and directions. Kindergarten teachers are being asked to prepare children for right and wrong answers, instead of creating lesson plans that allow children to make their own decisions.

No longer do five year olds in schools spend their days in imaginative play, or design. In fact, young children often go hours without recess or the ability to move and explore.

Just a few months ago in a well-performing Texas school, I saw classrooms where five-year-old children were trying to follow their enthusiastic and kind teachers through 90 minutes of district-mandated literacy instruction using a 300-page textbook.

Teachers find it difficult to get to know children and their families or to build on the individual strengths and interests of the increasingly diverse groups of kids in their classrooms.

This is even more problematic for the over one in four children from immigrant communities whose parents face disproportionate barriers in working with teachers and schools.

Testing leads to teacher retention issues

Sometimes advocates for standardized testing argue that tests, including benchmark or “school readiness” tests help catch learning problems early.

Yet, usually, it is a smart, thoughtful, observant teacher who, by watching, engaging and interacting with children each day, spots someone having trouble with oral language, fine motor skills, conflict or letter recognition.

So much testing also puts us at risk of losing teachers.The National Education Association (NEA) reports that nearly half of teachers want to leave the profession because of standardized testing.

These concerns about testing are now being reflected in President Obama’s keenness to cutt down testing. But if leaders are serious about changing the testing climate in schools, they need to act fast for the sake of the youngest students.

As one teacher sadly explained to me during a workshop on children’s agency, “It is hard to give kids a lot of freedom in my classroom when I don’t really have any myself.”"
testing  learning  howwelearn  children  schools  2015  nclb  standardizedtesting  accountability  jenniferkeysadair  ece  earlychildhood  anxiety  howweteach  teaching 
march 2015 by robertogreco
This Ain’t Montessori’: (Mis-)Appropriating Pre-K Education at DML 2012
"Taking Antero’s lead, I’d like to use this space to problematize not just JSB’s presentation of the role of Montessori in universally “cultivating the entrepreneurial learner,” but also to specifically call attention to the absence of early childhood educators and scholars in the DML space, and why it should matter to all of us.

JSB argued that through the lens of Montessori’s philosophy, today’s digital technologies hold unparalleled possibilities as “curiosity amplifiers.” Montessori teaching values tacit learning, or the development of key practices, habits, and “know-how” that can only be learned through personal experimentation. However true, Montessori is NOT the only model of early childhood education that values embodied play and learning. While the guys at Google might have grown up and thrived going to schools inspired by the pre-WWII teachings of Maria Montessori, how about inviting to the metaphorical sandbox another Italian pioneer of early childhood education…"

[via: http://www.theamericancrawl.com/?p=1004 ]
curiosity  idealization  mariamontessori  dml2012  learning  education  earlychildhood  ece  reggioemilia  montessori  2012  merylalper  anterogarcia  from delicious
july 2012 by robertogreco
Building Better Kids | Mother Jones
"Intensive, early interventions, by contrast, genuinely seem to work. They aren't cheap, and they aren't easy. And they don't necessarily boost IQ scores or get kids into Harvard. But they produce children who learn better, develop critical life skills, have fewer problems in childhood and adolescence, commit fewer crimes, earn more money, and just generally live happier, stabler, more productive lives. If we spent $50 billion less on K-12 education—in both public and private money—and instead spent $50 billion more on early intervention programs, we'd almost certainly get a way bigger bang for the buck.

Maybe somebody ought to make a documentary about that."
education  children  poverty  2011  politics  headstart  parenting  learning  socialcapital  us  earlyintervention  earlychildhood  achievementgap  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
Economist’s Plan to Improve Schools Begins Before Kindergarten - NYTimes.com
"James J. Heckman, Nobel in economic science…

…marshals ample data to suggest that better teaching, higher standards, smaller classrooms & more Internet access “have less impact than we think…To focus as intently as we do on K-12 years misses how “accident of birth is greatest source of inequality”…

…urges more effectively educating children before they step into classroom where…they often are clueless about letters, numbers & colors — & lack attentiveness & persistence to ever catch up…

…contends that high-quality programs focused on birth to age 5 produce a higher per-$ return than K-12 schooling & later job training…reduce deficits by reducing need for special education & remediation, & by cutting juvenile delinquency, teenage pregnancy & dropout rates.

…families matter & attributed widening gap btwn advantaged & disadvantaged…

Test scores may measure smarts, not character that turns knowledge into know-how. “Socio-emotional skills”…are critical…"
jamesheckman  education  policy  schools  earlychildhood  poverty  cv  gettingtotheheartofthematter  families  children  parenting  deficit  us  politics  economics  schooling  training  inequality  accidentofbirth  luck  disparity  achievementgap  socialemotionallearning  disadvantages  advantages  delinquency  crime  remediation  learning  money  spending  unschooling  deschooling  socialemotional  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Borderland › Rothstein on Accountability in Schools
"Approximately 30 well-spent minutes with Richard Rothstein, who patiently spells out what is happening as a consequence of using narrow measures of accountability for schools vs. what really needs to happen."
richardrothstein  policy  accountability  measurement  teaching  learning  schools  us  2010  obesity  children  afterschoolprograms  fitness  poverty  standardizedtesting  extendeddayprograms  health  achievementgap  dougnoon  math  mathematics  reading  crisis  achievement  media  politics  fear  education  ideology  medicaid  parenting  earlychildhood  teacherquality  economics  unemployment  race  wealth  language  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
In Defense of Childhood
"Our purpose is to broaden and refocus public conversation about early childhood and its long-term implications for a child’s life and for society; to restore imaginative play and hands-on, experiential learning as central activities in kindergartens and preschools; and to support stable, loving relationships with all adults in children’s lives."
education  play  earlychildhood  children  learning  childhood  freedom  unschooling  deschooling  handson 
february 2010 by robertogreco
The Serious Need for Play: Scientific American
"children’s free-play time dropped by a quarter between 1981 and 1997. Concerned about getting their kids into the right colleges, parents are sacrificing playtime for more structured activities. ... a play-deprived childhood disrupts normal social, emotional and cognitive development in humans and animals. ... play also promotes the continued mental and physical well-being of adults. ... Pellegrini explains, “games have a priori rules—set up in advance and followed. Play, on the other hand, does not have a priori rules, so it affords more creative responses.” ... This creative aspect is key because it challenges the developing brain more than following predetermined rules does. In free play, kids use their imagination and try out new activities and roles"
tcsnmy  children  parenting  play  unstructuredtime  games  psychology  health  imagination  creativity  sociality  nature  research  gaming  science  cognition  unschooling  homeschool  structure  via:preoccupations  anxiety  fear  rules  society  helicopterparents  freeplay  development  relationships  education  learning  culture  mind  earlychildhood  evolution  helicopterparenting 
january 2009 by robertogreco
12.02.2008 - EEGs show brain differences between poor and rich kids
"University of California, Berkeley, researchers have shown for the first time that the brains of low-income children function differently from the brains of high-income kids. In a study recently accepted for publication by the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, scientists at UC Berkeley's Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute and the School of Public Health report that normal 9- and 10-year-olds differing only in socioeconomic status have detectable differences in the response of their prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that is critical for problem solving and creativity."

[via: http://joannejacobs.com/2008/12/04/poor-kids-brains-arent-the-same/ AND http://www.boingboing.net/2008/12/06/growing-up-poor-can.html ]
education  brain  learning  poverty  economics  psychology  neuroscience  income  culture  research  class  children  wealth  cognition  creativity  problemsolving  rootcauses  games  gaming  environment  parenting  museums  books  reading  libraries  earlychildhood 
december 2008 by robertogreco

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