Sightlines Initiative

promoting creative and reflective practice in early childhood education


This Blog (or Diary) section has a broad mix of articles, reflections, comments, position pieces, as well as requests and information from Network members. It is becoming quite a comprehensive library. You can browse using the categories and search modules to the left.

Do contact us with your suggestions for new articles - and we really appreciate comments and other feedback.
Robin Duckett

Bright young campaigners ...

Here is an outstanding example of a light in the darkness. 

We all know that these are difficult times, and that on the vulnerable frontline are the pioneering initiatives.One such is the outstanding ReMida Odense, a centre for creativity conceived and run by our colleagues of the Denmark Reggio Network.

You can read about the ReMida centre here. It is under threat of closure, and of course they are working hard to change this course. The organisation has been immensely bolstered by the efforts of Vigga and Elise, two local children who have set up a local and Facebook campaign. It is not only heartening but necessary to have the power of a community involved in educational actions such as ours - the history of Reggio is a prime example.  This is such a  strong example of community action – and a powerful example of children as advocates and leaders in society. Well done to them!

You can read about their 'Save Remida' campaign on Facebook here, and if you want sign their petition.

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Rocking the boat ...

"The hand that rocks the cradle needs to rock the boat."

Here in Reggio Emilia it is the first of a six-day discussion and reflection of the members of the Reggio Children International Network, with the officers and pedagogues of the city's early childhood services.

Karen Callaghan of the Reggio Network in Canada, suddenly recalled this motto of the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, as we discussed the mood of the representatives.

As it turned out, the phrase was very apt for us, as we began to set to. We are all committed to constructing a strong education, which listens to the children - and we are passionate about informing the international community, politicians, parents, educators, all. It is a pedagogy of hope, as Claudia Giudici, President of Reggio Children reminded us, with this phrase of Paolo Freire's. 

Nando Rinaldi, the new president of the Institute of Schools and Preschools of Reggio, said thoughtfully and determinedly, "'knowledge' grows - it is not static or academic, it needs to be lived, it depends on all our participation."

Stubborn and Resolute

Loris Malaguzzi was stubborn and resolute in his vision, Claudia said -a typical person of Reggio Emilia. And in this room of 33 representatives, from 22 countries, there was much of this, We are ready not only to rock the 'boat', but to figure out how to build new ones.

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"This is not OK anymore ..."

Today many parents in the UK, particularly in England, are standing up in support of 'the joy of learning for learning' and against the persistent drive to turn schools into places of test-driven instruction. This is a genuine grassroots expression, which has created a groundswell where decades and decades of other informed voices have hit brick walls. Well done, and may it shift sands in the political foundations.

No, children do not need testing "in order to ensure that they learn", as some politicians these past few days have repeated. Dear politicians, that is a miserable mindset which damages children – yes high quality education is vital, but some of you are getting in the way. 'This is not ok anymore' to equate 'testing' with high quality. Stop investing in the grindstone; invest in your children, or if you don't have children yourselves, at least have the decency to listen to those who have and - listen to children. It is not hard, and We will All benefit.

Invest in an education which listens to children – you will get your economic value, don't worry about that. But more importantly, you will be investing in decency and humanity.

Today is a good day to share something of the delights and deep learning which it is possible for us to offer to children in our schools today. Here is a celebratory snapshot of children – and their teachers - learning in intensity and joy in some of our recent projects:

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Recent comment in this post
Viviana Fiorentino
Loved the video. Some days ago a politician knocked on the door for giving us his flyer. When I asked him what his, and his party... Read More
Tuesday, 03 May 2016 21:38
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