Philosophies

Boy watering plant

Keeping it simple

Early years rooms can be busy, and sometimes even a little chaotic—how can we create peaceful places where focussed play and learning are inevitable? The Japanese tradition of Wabi Sabi talks about the importance of simplicity and the appreciation of natural objects. In an early years setting this could be perhaps setting out fewer resources, creating clear space and decorating it in neutral colours, and bringing nature indoors.

“Using ‘simplicity’ as one of the key principles for organising the early years setting can be surprisingly straightforward to put into practice, and it also brings many benefits to children’s well-being and development.”

Read Hilary White’s informative article to see how you can create a calmer environment and spark new interest among your children.

Two children hugging and laughing

Inspiration for a new year

As we head into a new year, we still find ourselves coping with difficult circumstances and hoping for better times. In strained conditions that have the potential to discourage us, what is most crucial as we continue to care for children? Valuing each child as an individual who is unique, precious and unlike any other is foundational. As an educator, carer or parent, you have the power to change lives for the better, in fact to impact the world and make it “worthy of its children”.

Watch this video to hear these words by the musician Pablo Casals, and let them inspire you for the future.

Best wishes for a new year!

A child is playing in a puddle of water

Let the children be free

As the world battles the coronavirus pandemic, there are so many ways in which children’s lives have been restricted, from social distancing to lockdown measures. Even though times are difficult, we can still find ways to give children freedom and a true childhood. Be encouraged by these timeless words from the well-known educator Maria Montessori. View the video here.
Two children playing by a stream

Why Froebel is still important today

“Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul,” wrote Friedrich Froebel. Today his philosophies are embedded into our modern educational foundations, but Froebel’s ideas were radical for his time. So radical, in fact, that at one point the Prussian government banned his kindergartens. Yet Froebel’s concept of “a garden for children” lives on, and his vision for true childhood is as relevant today as it was in the 19th century.

Read an account of his life here.

two children checking a bird box for a nest

Building a curriculum on the natural curiosity of children

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” – John Dewey

One of the greatest gifts teachers can give to their students is a life-long love of learning. Because children’s interests differ widely depending on their own experiences, meeting their learning needs demands the full and creative attention of a teacher’s mind and heart.

The Project Approach offers teachers a way to build their curriculum on the natural curiosity of children. When immersed in a topic that is local and relevant, students actively participate in the educational experience. This kind of authentic learning energises the child as they “become part of a community of investigators” instead of a passive recipient of information. Read more.

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