Sunday, 31 March 2013

window shopping - gathering ideas

Sometimes its fun to just stroll around the shops and get inspiration...
Some things can be made, or similar things bought and adapted...
here are some ideas I got today...

in Bolia - a furniture shop I liked the idea of dividing a room with bamboo - it definitely softened the room and made interesting shadows, it also moves, as it is not absolutely fixed. Its a room divider, but still there is possibility to see through...

Bolia again, baskets attached to the wall for storage

Asian store (there are many around town) check out the bowls - great for sorting, storage, displaying

Granit - another natural touch for the preschool with these bark containers - can be used for pens etc - or even as part of the construction corner

Asian store - natural cutlery...

Granit - clipboards in a variety of sizes - smart idea to have smaller ones for smaller hands...

Granit - I liked the table - a big round tray on metal legs (it was stable enough - at least more stable than a similar one I saw in Åhléns) - it would make a great sensory table both indoors and outdoors...

Asian store - really BIG lazy susans - great idea for all sorts of projects, but also for nature tables, art tables etc, to allow materials to be accessed more easily. The bigger ones have a tyre going round the outer rim...

Friday, 29 March 2013

Gender dialogue...


 I have spent some time today participating in a dialogue of sorts in a Swedish Reggio facebook group. The dialogue is focussed on gender, and how we work with it and is based on a blog by Cristian Fabbi - What do we talk about when we talk about gender education in preschool?

And boy oh boy has this got me thinking - and replying a whole load...

here are some of my thoughts from that dialogue...



Sometimes I think the discussions about gender are wrong. I feel that somehow the focus is always about giving more to either boys or girls (there always seems to be a focus on one of the genders) or at least this is how so many are interpreting it - and this I think can cause friction, as there is often the feeling that if you are giving someone something you are taking it away from another - in other words that if we are giving women power it means we are taking it away from men or vice versa. 
I believe that the focus should be equality - that there is no taking away, that there is only adding on

In the preschool arena this can mean that we do not take all the pink and girlie things away to make them equal to the boys, but we ensure that there is enough of all sorts of toys/materials and enough access to all the the materials for all genders.

 I remember in the early days of my preschool teaching life that I found that my attempts to create equality was to make it more boy-like. On Fridays we had film time at one preschool I worked at, and a lot of thought used to go into what film we should watch. I ALWAYS excluded the Fairytopia films (that were very popular with my own preschool-aged twin girls at the time) because they were so "girlie", and then I realised that it was not fair to either the boys or girls that I did this - so I brought the Barbie Fairytopia film and the children watched it - and it was the BOYS who showed the greater interest in the film - suddenly a whole new world was opened up to these 3-6 year olds with a variety of characters and a female as the lead role who showed fear and bravery, generosity and friendship - and yes its coated in a thick layer of pink. 

Recently I put fairies in the magic world we created at preschool where I work now - and watched a car-crazy boy lovingly pick up the fairy, give it hugs and then proceed to play - there were also cars available and it was a girl who had the fairies driving the cars. 





  • By adding lots to the scene I am contributing to diversity, to the opportunity to try out new things and to express more "languages". 
    Lotta Rajalin (who is head teacher for several preschools on Stockholm, including Egalia BBC article about Egalia - oh and they say Egalia is the Swedish word for equality - JÄMSTÄLLD is the Swedish word for equality - think egalité and you realise the word means equality - but not Swedish... talks about a spectrum with girlie girl on one end and boyish boy on the other - and on this spectrum we can all be found, regardless of our sex. It is our gender that can be found ANYWHERE on the spectrum, so a child who is biologically a boy can be found closer to the girlie girl end than the boyish boy end - it doesn't make him any less a boy - this is his sex, but by limiting what he can do, like and have access to, does limit him as a person, it makes him less true to who he is - and the same applies to the girls. 
    Just like a rainbow merges from red into yellow through a whole variety of orange shades, and from yellow to blue through a whole variety of green shades and then back to red through a variety of purples - this is how we are as gender - some are clearly primary colours we see the likes and interests and we can see them as typical boy/girl (the girlie girl and the boyish boy)- but the majority of the rainbow is made up of all the other shades - and by treating all children as a primary colour we are robbing them of their complexity.
     Maybe, and now I am rambling my thoughts somewhat - we are all white light... we are the WHOLE rainbow - just as there are 100 languages.  
    Having worked a year with Lotta Rajalin it has certaily influenced how I think and feel about gender...


    I think it can be very hard, even here in Sweden, to have proper discussion about gender equality when the media still represents women and men the way they do - how do we support the PARENTS to allow their sons to dress up as princesses (I seldom find parents worrying the same about girls dressing as knights as they do worry about boys dressing as girls - and this is probably due to the fact that males still have a higher status than females) - how do we give teachers and parents the tools to question what they see? There are too few of us to influence now much more than what we are doing already - but we can influence the future - and I mean too few of us in the sense that the MEDIA is just so enormous, that culture is more than skin deep and ways for thinking for many are very hard to change (there is the saying, you can't teach an old dog new tricks) - which is sad - I think there are many brilliant people working for the gender equality - but they are often met with hostility - as there is that fear of taking things away - they feel the word "hen" (a gender neutral way of saying he/she in Sweden, instead of saying hon or han) is taking children's identity away (and yet forget there are many languages that do not have separate words for he/she). 
     When I worked at Lotta's preschool there was never a focus on using the word hen INSTEAD of hon/han but as a compliment, as an extra word, adding on to our language (or the Swedish) to enrich it - to give the opportunity that the plumber that was coming to fix the pipes could be male or female - we are allowing the children (boys and girls) the possibility to envision that THEY can fix the pipes - that all types of work are a possibility for them, that there are no men's jobs and women's jobs.
    At my work I try to do the rough and tumble, the picking up and stuff my dad did with me as a child (not my mother) - I want the children to see that strength has nothing to do with gender - mind you my height has always given me the edge for that - I have worked with 13 male teachers over the years - only 3 of them have been taller than me! (I also think that children need plenty of positive body contact to feel safe). 

    A few years ago I worked at a preschool where we had a consultant that came once a week to help us with our work with gender - and she came into my department and criticised the dress up clothes in the role-play area - "there is too much pink - what are the boys going to wear?" - I looked at her and said "why can't boys wear pink?" - again back to this thought that making a preschool gender equal is making it gender neutral - I DO NOT WANT a gender neutral preschool - I want to work at a place that celebrates all the differences that we as individuals bring to the group - to embrace these differences, to allow each individual to reach their own potential by having access to a rich diversity of materials - to find their voice, their multitude of languages, and to hone the one that they themselves feel is true to them as well as test out new unexplored areas of themselves... a gender neutral preschool does not allow diversity it is yet another way of cutting a child's unique shape into the conformed square of social acceptance - it is not the child that needs to change it is society that needs to change.

      I think CHOOSING to use the words gender neutral is so loaded - I feel its means taking away/restricting - think neutral colours - they are those colours that are not bright, vibrant - they are just PART of the colour scheme that makes up life - why only offer part of life? If boys are not getting to play with dolls at preschool and not at home then where are they going to play with them - when will they get the opportunity to test this language out? If we are going to take trucks and diggers away - what are we saying about that? WHAT exactly are you doing to create a gender neutral preschool? Is it taking things away? Gender codes are only codes if WE allow them to be - let us BREAK the codes instead of letting them to allow to continue. By making it neutral we are still allowing the codes to exist - by breaking them down and allowing these gender coded toys/materials to be used by all and in new ways - THEN we are winning... (challenging thoughts here)
    • Its funny because I am going round doing housework and this dialogue is churning around in my thoughts. Its made me think more about WHY are some people against gender equality - and I am beginning to understand that it is more and more this fear of "taking away" that NEUTRAL means that everyone has to be the same - I mean neutral is a little like that - its like taking away your opinion. OK, this is a radical thought - but Sweden was a neutral country during WW2 - what did this mean? - it meant that no side was taken - it meant that there was no agreeing with the Nazi point of view or with the Allies point of view (and Reggio started from the rubble of WW2 - if it hadn't been for the war maybe the need for the approach might not have arisen...) BUT back to what I think neutral is - in a sense it means not making a decision - and really we need to be making a decision about what gender equality is - we need to think do we agree with gender coded toys or not? Do we want to do something about it? Do we accept how we view females and males? Do we want to do something about it? If we are neutral we are allowing everything to continue - but within the preschool (within Sweden during the war) there will be those who believe in one of the approaches and who will maybe follow that, maybe in secret - as there is no openness to discuss the codes, and what they mean and how they should be challenged.  ... just as in Sweden there were those who helped hide the persecuted from the Nazis and there were those who helped the Nazis persecute those deemed "unsuitable". We hide behind neutrality and maybe think we are doing something about gender equality, but I feel like its more of an ostrich sticking its head in the sand - if you can't see what's going on...
       I feel like shaking up everything and that we need to look at this different - I saw the effects that other's fear of neutrality had - Egalia had real threats because they have been open about their gender equality - that OTHERS are viewing as gender neutrality - and this fear of making neutral children I think should be REAL - we should not be creating a society that produces neutral people, but a society that is allowing all people to be EXACTLY who they are, and that we can accept all the colours of the rainbow, that we can accept that the girlie end of the spectrum is of equal value to the boyish end of the spectrum so that regardless of sex, a person is valued for who they are rather than where they find themselves on the gender spectrum. I feel passionate about equality in ALL its forms - not just gender - gender is only a part of it...
      Reflection December 2013When I read this I read it with passion every time. I really do feel frustrated when I discuss with others about the word "hen" and they roll their eyes... OK, I will never replace the words han/hon (he/she) with hen - but at times I find it really useful - especially when I am writing about or talking about a child and I don't want others to make assumptions based on the child's sex but on the child's actions - it DOES make a difference. It is why when I write I TRY not to revela if I am writing about a girl or a boy - so that you as a reader can make your own assumptions on the work based on their skills... sometimes though it IS important to reveal more about the identity of the child than just the age...I do think though I wrote plenty here - and that to develop this further and deeper I need to be a part of a dialogue - which is where these thughts started... in a facebook group chat with preschool teachers from all over Sweden, and a consultant in Reggio Emilia...





  • Thursday, 28 March 2013

    What about me?

    I have got a feeling that this post is going to be rather unstructured and just a chain of thoughts...

    Over the years there have been many discussions with parents (and reflections of being a parent myself too) about getting angry - and that somehow its taboo to get angry with your children - that we need to remain calm and collected and pedagogical ALL the time - but is that really staying true to who you are? Am I being false by hiding my own emotions?
    Sometimes we get angry with children because of our own fears, sometimes because we are tired and sometimes as part of setting limits - usually it results in tears... but maybe we should not be afraid of tears. I am by no means saying "go out and bully your child into submission" - its a relationship we have with our children and relationships require time, effort and a whole load of listening skills, and our children need LOVE, SUPPORT and ENCOURAGEMENT.

    Sometimes I wonder about whether we are reading all these parenting tips right? I mean I get it that we are the adult, that we need to be the calm one, that we need to lead by example - but how do we help children learn how to to feel loved even when it feels like the world is against us? If we never get angry with our children how do they know its OK to disagree in a heated manner and STILL LOVE SOMEONE?

    I remember (more than half a lifetime ago) dating a guy that was an only child, and it stressed him when my sister and I would fight of trivial things... he simply could not understand how we could love and like each other even though we could say some pretty nasty stuff to each other... the words were about the disagreement, not about each other... we had learned that during our childhood, by being given the freedom to quarrel with each other, but also by having a mother that was generous and loving but could get real hopping mad at times. As a young child I do not remember once doubting my mother's love when she got angry (- sure preferred when she was not mad though).

    But I think, if we, as adults, allow ourselves to show all our emotional range, and how we recover from them - or how we can accept that some were inappropriate or misjudged and can apologise after reflection - then I think we are giving our children healthy role models.

    If we are swallowing our anger and negative thoughts then where is it going? How is it going to be channeled - when will it explode?

    I am not saying that we should all go round expressing our every emotion, but what I am saying is that we should not have a guilty conscience about getting angry with our children - and I feel that most parents do feel guilty about this - yet another negative emotion to stock up on. 
    Why not allow yourself to see the outburst as a learning opportunity - to show your child how to apologise, to offer an explanation as to why you got angry, to have the chance to reflect and think up new ways to deal with a similar situation in the future - and if its less taboo, then there is the opportunity to talk with other parents to get support and tips...
     but what parent wants to admit they get angry with their children - these days it almost feels like admitting to being a failure as a parent.
     I admire the parents who have the strength to say it as it is - as probably 99% of all parents experience the reality of parenthood. 

    So what about me? What about my right to be a human as well as a parent? 
    I have quite a lot of patience - BUT its something I wish I had more of... I use a whole load up at work, another load for my children - and there's next to nothing left when it comes to my husband... he has learned that when I start getting short with him - that it's best to take the children out to his parents and spend a weekend there - allow me time to breath, to listen to silence and to re-charge my batteries. I reckon that being short with him is my "batteries at 20%" sign. 

    Oh, yes, I get angry with my children. Sometimes to set limits. Sometimes because I simply do not have the patience to deal with it as I would like to. We ALWAYS talk about the outbursts afterwards - their's and mine - and hopefully together we become wiser...

    I told you it was going to be a train of thoughts... Might have a go at writing this from a child's perspective over the weekend... not sure if I can - but will an enriching process all the same...

    Wednesday, 27 March 2013

    Easter Painting and EGGsperimenting

    An activity chosen, not merely for its Easter connection but mostly for the interaction skills needed. Working in pairs the children moved the box together - collaborating to see how the boiled egg rolled, trying to be careful so that it didn't smash, choosing colours together...


    Interesting to see the patterns develop as the egg rolled - back and forth and from side to side depending on how the children moved the box. Being careful was not so easy when testing was more important - how fast would the egg roll? How much banging would it tolerate?




    Not surprisingly only two of the five eggs survived the artistic movement!


    of course broken eggs and leftover paint is a recipe for experimenting - and that is exactly what the children did...


    But it didn't take long before experimenting and role-playing blurred into each other - and the children started cooking Easter food. This time was another great opportunity for the children to learn how to collaborate - to ask and to share each other's colours, to all contribute to the painted egg mess in the bowl, to be inspired by each other's ideas of what to cook...
    the "eggsperiment" certainly changed colours... as the yolks, shells and different coloured paints all mixed together...

    here is one of the finished products - an easter egg painting!

    as we only had two boxes in use we also had a Easter window activity -  using sticky back plastic taped onto the window with the sticky side out, and a whole load of feathers. It can be hard for children to take turns when they are first exposed to new material or a new technique, but with teacher support they can all get the time to experience and test it out...
    and of course Easter would not be complete without chick yellow playdough and feathers!

    Tuesday, 26 March 2013

    Mud Mud Glorious Mud


    The snow and ice are finally starting to melt... and new opportunities to play arrive...

    under the ice you can see bubbles of WATER


    SOOO exciting, time to break the ice and find the treasure under...



    Certainly worth the effort

    armed with buckets and spades the children began to collect water and mud, individually as well as collaborating with others


    It was so interesting to see how focussed the children were - usually they play all over the park in different groups, today all 8 children were playing in the same small area working/playing intensely with the mud and water


    Not only was there mud and water collection but also problem solving - when one of the small sand forms got stuck in the mud in the bucket its always good to ask a friend for advice...



    buckets were filled with mud, snow, water and ice
    I find it interesting to see how young children fill and fill buckets, even when they are already full, and how they overflow. This bucket started with ice and water and then filled with more and more mud, pushing the water out over the rim until there was mud oozing over the edges



    jumping in water is a must - wearing the right clothes is essential. Luckily all the children were well equipped and could experience the mud and water on their own terms.

    the bigger the splash the more the fun

    Some children wore mittens, others worked bare hands (and got cold and wore their mittens on the walk back to warm up their hands again) - but the benefit of wearing mittens today was being able to really see how the water moved.

    HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY
    Now I know I shouldn't complain about the snow and ice - there are some great things to play in it - but I am SOOO ready for mud and water (and looking forward to some warmth too). Today has brought with it that sparkle of hope that spring is on its way to Stockholm!!

    Monday, 25 March 2013

    Easter sensory play (Påsk"ris")

    Green and yellow coloured rice were added to a big box together with a big cardboard traditional Swedish easter egg that can be used as two cup/bowl forms to collect things; some mini eggs; some chicks; tea-strainers. My aim was to offer an Easter themed sensory activity as one of the activities on offer as we welcomed a new child to our group. (I did not notice the heart shape until I looked at these photos - I just randomly dumped the rice in quickly before the children arrived)
    The tea-strainers proved really fun (even for me - I just loved the way they suddenly snapped up a chick or an egg) and both the mini eggs and chicks fitted perfectly inside - although there were plenty of giggles every time feet got left outside. The children also tested using them as maracas - which had a variety of results as sometimes they did not seal properly as the odd rice corn would get between the outer lips and then rice would just shake all over the place.



    I added a mirror, as I saw there was an interest in taking out the rice from the box to put it on the mirror - much better to experiment and keep the rice contained. I can also recommend keeping hold of any HEXBUG tubes that you might get your hands on (they come in tube packaging) as this was great fun to play with.

    A couple of clean paint brushes could be used to sweep the rice of the mirror and then create the space to let it rain down again
    Of course the rice ended up on the light table - I mean who can resist? Not me at any rate!!
    What I thought would be an activity that would entertain for about 10-20 minutes entertained the children for a full hour, and they returned to it in the afternoon. Various play was happening - from just testing and feeling, to filling and emptying, to role play of feeding the chicks, to experimenting with sound, to making piles, to collecting eggs, to collaboration skills and language skills, fine motor skills (opening and closing those tea strainers was not that easy for little hands, took a great deal of concentration). There was also construction and early writing skills in the rice - but most importantly there was friendship making.

    Friday, 22 March 2013

    The relevance of Loris Malaguzzi in Early Childhood Education (written 2009)

     Welcome to reading one of my assignments from my Masters in Early Childhood. Its a longer read than usual - but I have added some photos along the way...

    Introduction
    In this assignment I am going to discuss Loris Malaguzzi (1921-1994), an educator from Reggio Emilia in Northern Italy. I will present a brief history of Malaguzzi and the beginnings of Reggio Emilia followed by some of the key concepts of his pedagogical philosophy. The assignment will conclude with a discussion of how Malaguzzi has influenced the Swedish curriculum and the relevance of his work to current early childhood education.
    Almost two years ago the nursery school where I work as a preschool teacher in Sweden made the decision to be Reggio inspired and a year ago we began our journey. This journey has brought me to this assignment – an opportunity to further my knowledge in the Reggio Emilia Approach by looking closer at Malaguzzi, the founder and for many years the Director of the Reggio Emilia system of municipal early childhood education (Edwards et al, 1998, p.10).

    A Brief History
    At the end of the Second World War Malaguzzi heard about a group of women who were building a school from the rubble and financing it with the sale of abandoned German tanks (Hewitt, 2001, p.95) and his involvement with these women became the beginning of what is now known as The Reggio Emilia Approach. New (2000, p.2) writes that the parents did not want ordinary schools; rather, they wanted schools where children could acquire skills of critical thinking and collaboration essential to rebuilding and ensuring a democratic society. Moss (2007,p.136) writes that a previous mayor of the city claimed the Fascist experience had taught the citizens’ of Reggio Emilia that people who conformed were dangerous and that this is why the parents so desired critical thinking for their children. They asked Malaguzzi to teach their children, and he told them that he “had no experience, but promised to do (his) best. 'I'll learn as we go along and the children will learn everything I learn working with them,” (Atner, 1994). These were not empty words but the very foundation of the Reggio Emilia approach. Malaguzzi has “emphasized the importance of ”leaving room for learning” by observing children and reflecting, thus enabling teaching to become better than before” (Scott, 2007, p.22). Malaguzzi, himself learned, as he had promised - he went to Rome to study psychology, where he took inspiration from such thinkers as Vygotsky, Piaget, Dewey and Bruner. But he did not stop there – he continued to research and enter dialogues with others in a variety of fields of learning - absorbing all the information and applying the theories and ideas that suited the needs of the preschools and the children in Reggio Emilia, for example he went to the Rousseau Institute and the Ecole des Petits of Piaget in Geneva (Malaguzzi 1998, p.53) but also the works of Wallon, Chaparède, Decroly, Makarenko, Erikson, Bronfenbrenner, Bovet, Freinet and the Dalton School in New York have guided Malaguzzi in the development of his pedagogical philosophy (p.59). The list of names being just a sample of the scholars Malaguzzi sought inspiration from. The various theories he discussed with the staff of the new preschools, and the parents of the children who attended the preschools, in order to inspire and to process the information (p.60). New (2000, p.2) says that many credit Malaguzzi for uniting many other Italian early childhood educators to share and debate methods of working with young children.

    The responsibility of running these schools remained heavily in the hands of the parents until 1963 (Malaguzzi, 1998, p.50) “when the municipality of Reggio Emilia began setting up its own network of educational services for children from birth to six years”. (Nutbrown and Abbot, 2007, p.1). According to Spaggiari (1998,p.105), even though the responsibility no longer rested with the parents, but with the municipality, they continued to be an active part of the Reggio preschool, including regular slide shows and art displays, theme evenings, lectures given by experts for both parents and teachers, work sessions where parents help build new furniture, workshops where new techniques are learned, holidays and celebrations spent together with the families and parental involvement in excursions.

    Edwards et al. (1998, p.22) says Malaguzzi decided upon limiting class size to twenty as well as there being two teachers in every classroom rather than the customary one, and that teachers should work collectively and without hierarchy as suggested by Bruno Ciari, the leader of the Movement of Cooperative Education, another of source of inspiration for Malaguzzi – and someone he was in frequent dialogue with.

    In 1970 the first infant-toddler centre was opened, one year in advance of Law 1044(1971) instituting social and educational services for children under the age of three. This occurred on the demand of the mothers who requested a safe place for their children as they returned to the workforce (Edwards et al 1998 p.19, Malaguzzi, 1998, p61). This was followed by a series of social legislation making the availability of nursery schools more readily available to the people of Italy and the number of schools blossomed until the mid 1980’s (Edwards et al, 1998, p.22).

    The interaction of Swedish teachers together with those of Reggio Emilia resulted in an exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm called “The Hundred Languages of Children” (Barsotti 2009).  The title of the exhibition also being the title of a poem written by Loris Malaguzzi describing how children start life with a hundred languages but are robbed of 99 continued Barsotti. Thus reinforcing his pedagogical philosophy as being one that helps the children to maintain all their different languages and to build upon them rather than telling the child which voice should be used. Barsotti told us, at one of the many Reggio Emilia courses held in Stockholm, that the interaction with Sweden has continued and in 1992 The Reggio Emilia Institute opened in Stockholm allowing dialogues and courses to inspire teachers across the country.

    After the sudden death of Malaguzzi, Rinaldi (2008, p.53) confesses to an enormous vacuum, arousing fear that they would lose the sense of the experience itself. Rinaldi had worked for 24 years by Malaguzzi’s side and thanks to their conviction they moved forwards and continued with what Malaguzzi had started. A new version of “The Hundred Languages of Children” Exhibit began its tour in Rome in 1995 and continued around the world (Edwards et al, 1998, p.23). In 1996 the early childhood system in Reggio Emilia was entrusted to the city authorities by the Ministry of Education this included funds to continue the education of its teachers (Edwards et al 1998 p.23). The spirit of Malaguzzi is forever present in the city of Reggio Emilia. He had challenged teachers to develop “new eyes” to enable them to see the true intelligence of children (Rankin 2004, p.81) and through these eyes the teachers of Reggio Emilia continue to see – what the children are doing and are interested in, and further a-field – what the researchers are doing. Dahlberg and Moss (2008, p.4) point out that it is not simply the fact that the educators of Reggio have brought in concepts and theories from many places but that more importantly they have reflected upon them, creating their own meanings and relevance to their work.

    Key Concepts

    Malaguzzi was the driving force of the key-points of the Reggio Emilia approach. These key-points include – children have rights rather than needs; the child as a collaborator with the teacher in his/her own education/development (interactions/pedagogy of listening); the environment is the third educator; the researcher teacher and the researcher child (documentation/competent child); learning through play, emphasising creative expression (hundred languages), and the involvement of the parents. (Gandini 1998 p.177; Malaguzzi, 1998, p.79; Spaggiari, 1998, p.105; Vecchi 1998 pp139-147; Abbot 2007 p.14; Philips 2007 p.49; Rinaldi, 2008 p.57, p.65)

    Rights:

    Malaguzzi (1994, p.1) said that children had the right to fulfil and also expand ALL of their potential, describing them as rich and competent and not beings with needs but beings with rights. He wrote down a Bill Of Three Rights – for the parents, the teachers and the…

    Children have the right to be recognized as the bearers of important rights: individual, social and legal. They both carry and construct their own culture and are therefore active participants in the organization of their identity, their autonomy and their capabilities. The construction of this organization takes place through relationships and interactions with peers, adults, ideas and objects, as well as both real and imaginary events of a communicative world  (Malaguzzi 1994, online )

    I noticed that these writings of Malaguzzi reflect many of the articles in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. For example article 12, where children have the right to say what they think should happen and have their opinions taken into account; and in article 29 that states the development of the child's personality, talents and mental and physical abilities should be to their fullest potential. (United Nations, 1990)

    Jones (2000,) described the rights of children in Reggio Emilia as stemming from common sense rather than an international declaration.
    The words 'common sense" carry with them overtones of approval, suggesting solid, workable and rational agreement over what is the best to be done in determining the rights of individuals and social groups
    (Jones, 2000, p.3)

    In this description the rights of children bend and sway with the society and the culture that the child finds itself in – a part of a family, a part of a preschool, and a part of a city. The children can be assured the safety and guidance of the adults around them as well as being heard and valued to have their own theories.

     Interaction

    According to an interview between Malaguzzi and Rankin (2004) the interaction between children and children, children and adults and adults and adults is an essential part of the Reggio experience.

    Interaction must be an important and strong word. You must write it in the entrance to the school. Interaction. That is, try to work together to produce interactions that are constructive, not only for socializing, but also for construction language, for constructing the forms and meaning of language.
    (Rankin, 2004, p.84)

    Rinaldi (2008) suggests that just listening to a teacher is not a sufficient way to learn and to develop. She contends a child should participate in his/her own development for it to have any relevance, not only on an individual level but also by listening to peers and learning from them. The teacher should listen to the child in order to develop as a teacher, listen to the parents to further understand, and listen to each other to stimulate professional development. Rinaldi gives eight explanations of what listening is when describing documentation and assessment. These include the concept that listening is an active verb, that it is an emotion and based on curiosity, that it should be done not just with our ears but with all of our senses, that it is not an easy thing to do and should be done without prejudice, and it is the premise for any learning relationship (2008 p.65).  Zakin (2005, p.4) states that this approach to teaching and learning based on collaboration and mentoring stems from Vygotsky’s (1973) theories (zone of proximal development) and requires the teachers to look at their own pedagogical practice. Therefore a curriculum is created not by the state but by the teachers in collaboration with the children. Rankin’s (2004, p.82) writes that Malaguzzi said “its not so much that we need to think of a child who develops himself by himself but rather of a child who develops himself interacting with others”. This is why the meeting place of the piazza is so important – here the children can exchange ideas with each other – as well as in the small activity groups together with a teacher.
    Dahlberg and Moss (2008, p.6) suggest another important inspiration for Malaguzzi has been John Dewey (1938) including his view that learning is an active process and not merely the transmission of pre-packaged knowledge. They suggest this is seen in the teachers listening to the children’s interests and developing projects together, learning simultaneously during the process.

    The Third Educator

    Rinaldi (2008, pp77-88) writes that the layout of the preschools has been a crucial part of the Reggio experience, Malaguzzi believing strongly in the relationship between a good quality environment improving the quality of learning. The environment should enable the child and teacher to express their potential, abilities and curiosity. The Reggio Emilia preschools have been created by the collaboration of architecture and pedagogy and the use of visual arts.

    The piazza has become synonymous with Reggio Emilia, each of Malaguzzi’s preschools possessing one. It is a large open central space that most traditional schools also have, but Gandini (1998 p.165) had wrote that Malaguzzi explained that it is how this space is used that is important. By calling it a piazza, the town square, Malaguzzi was creating a significance about this open space – a place for meetings and interactions – and not just a place for “recreation because between 10:00 and 10:30 there is supposed to be a break”.

    Gandini continues that the environment must be flexible and must be adapted with the changing needs of the children. She remembers the words of Malaguzzi who told her that “we value space because of its power to organize, promote pleasant relationships among people of different ages, create a handsome environment, provide changes, promote choices and activity, and its potential for sparking all kinds of social affective, and cognitive learning” (1998, p.177)

    The atelier, workshop or studio, is a space in the Reggio Emilia preschools that Malaguzzi (1998, p.73) invested a great deal of hope. It is a space rich in materials and tools easily accessed by the children. It was intended not only as a space of creativity but also as a place of research – a place where the children can test out their theories individually and together with other children, and with professionally competent adults (p.74). There are small ateliers for the children to work on projects in smaller groups – as the children are divided according to age in Reggio Emilia preschools (Gandini, 1998, p.172).


    Bishop (2007, p.73) says that Reggio Emilia preschools have intended to have an educational and symbolic value for those using the spaces – both indoors and outdoors. Many describe the preschools as filled with light and colour from the large glass windows, white walls and glass room dividers, aquarium-like, and illuminating the children’s work (Bishop, 2007; Hirst, 2007; Nutbrown and Abbot, 2007; Gandini, 1998;). Furniture and materials are designed so that the children can be independent – the environment allows them to start activities and pursue them with as little assistance from adults (van den Bosch, 2009, p.20).

    Documentation

    ”We teachers must see ourselves as researchers, able to think, and produce a true curriculum, a curriculum produced from all of the children” (Malaguzzi, 1993 p.4). The word ”reconnaissance” is used by Malaguzzi, (1998, pp.88-89) as an important tool to overview the situation with the children, the preschool, the family, the town etc. From this reconnaissance wisdom is acquired into how the children play, how they pretend and how individual and group identities develop etc (p.89). Rinaldi (1998, p.119) explains that the observations are documented and are used to stimulate the teacher’s self-reflection as well as discussions with colleagues.
    Projects arise from the interest of the children continues Rinaldi, they are of varying lengths of time and children work by themselves and with the teachers. The teachers continue to observe and document during the project’s process and this documentation makes it “possible for the teachers to sustain the children’s learning while they also learn (to teach) from the children’s own learning” (Rinaldi 1998, p.120) The documentation includes words and photographs at both adult and child height (Leask, 2007, p.45) as well as diagrams, working models, paintings etc (Bishop, 2007, p.76). Slide documentaries, videos and books says Rinaldi (1998, p.121) also support the memory and interactions of the teachers, children and parents. She continues that by revisiting a project by looking at the documentation the children are offered an opportunity to further reflect and interpret their own ideas. Something I do with the children in Stockholm with exciting results. The artwork and results of the projects therefore document the process – the learning of the children which then offers further learning processes for adults and children alike by acting as a “mirror of our knowledge” (Rinaldi, 1998, 121).


    Play

    “Play is a key factor in children’s well-being. As such it is not a luxury to be considered after other rights have been addressed but understood as an essential and integral part of children’s everyday lives and therefore central to the UN Convention as a whole.”  (Fronczek, 2009, p.113). Malaguzzi says that as teachers each one needs to be able to play with the things that derive from children and that curiosity is a necessary attribute. He also says that teachers need to be able to try something new based on the ideas that are collected from the children. (Malaguzzi, 1993 p.2). In other words Malaguzzi is not only promoting play as a method of learning for children, but also as a method of learning for the adults around them.

    Hundred languages
    Malaguzzi (1998 p.3) wrote a poem as part of the exhibition of the children’s work entitled “The Hundred Languages of Children” that reveals his thoughts that children do not think and learn in just one way but have many approaches to the world and his belief that school and culture are robbing them of ninety nine by telling them how to think and how to learn without joy. Göhlich (2008, p.1) wrote that learning is multidimensional – that it includes learning to know, learning to know-how and learning to live and that it is not just a cognitive process.
    Learning creatively has involved challenging many preconceived ideas about education.
    Up to now, art instruction, has been more appreciated for its cultural and recreational service to children than its educational possibilities and Zakin (2005 p.5) believes that it should be seen with new eyes, that art and science are not at opposite ends of the scale. Gardner (1998 p.xvii) also comments on the harmony Reggio has achieved by “challenging so many false dichotomies” for example child versus adult, enjoyment versus study as well as, like Zakin, the contrast of art and science. Rinaldi (2006 p.173) continues this list with work-play and reality-imagination; she writes the word “and”, linking everything together – creativity and rationality, teaching and researching etc. I understand this, as one should cover all areas with equal importance so that the child has a chance to develop her “hundred languages” and has a greater opportunity to find the ones that she excels at and enjoys.

    Parents
    The parents are an important part of the Reggio preschool experience, they are also considered a specialist and are recognised for bringing with them a particular viewpoint as well as values (Rinaldi, 2006, p.157). Hunter (2007, p.39) says that parents are encouraged to participate in the daily life of the preschools and that parental observations contribute to “lively discussions”. Running the preschools without the parents, write Södergren and Wiking (2009, p.15), is unthinkable in the Reggio Emilia preschools and are a part of their development rather than just “customers” who drop off their children to professionals who make all the decisions.

    Reggio Emilia and Sweden
    Malaguzzi’s “first flight abroad” was to Sweden and the exhibit which was first called “When the eye jumps over the wall” that later became “The Hundred Languages of Children” (Barsotti, 2009). This involvement with Sweden came before the curriculum for the preschool (Lpfö98) came into being in 1998. Vecchi comments on the importance of the move of the Swedish preschool from the Social Service Department to the Education Department indicating a change of viewing preschools as a place to protect and nurture children to a place of learning (Vecchi 1999, p.46). The new curriculum was welcomed by many as it raises the status of the preschool, by describing the preschool as laying the foundation of lifelong learning, giving parents the possibility to influence the setting as well as challenging teachers concerning giving children the right to influence their own situation (Rösne and Sköldefors 1999, p.48).
    Bondesson et al (2007 p.17) describes the new Swedish preschool curriculum as changing the focus of how the child is seen. The curriculum sees the child as competent, as did Malaguzzi, and that the teachers should support the child’s development and learning through interactions with children and adults. “Children in preschool should meet adults who see the potential in each child and who involve themselves interactively with both the individual child and the group of children as a whole” (Lpfö98 p.5).
    The curriculum has a general formulation which allows a variety of interpretations – therefore the traditional Swedish preschool, writes Bondesson et al (2007 p.18) is able to continue working with children based on adult lead activities, but at the children’s level to encourage their learning. At the same time it allows for the Reggio inspired method of allowing the children to influence their own learning process and the teachers as fellow researcher. The Swedish curriculum states “The preschool should promote learning, which presupposes active discussion in the work team on the contents of what constitutes learning and knowledge” (Lpfö 98 p.6).
    At the preschool where I work in Stockholm we have a pedagogical advisor that comes once a week and works with us – to discuss ideas, documentation methods and starting up projects after observing the children’s interests. Therefore we are discussing what learning is for us, embroidering the philosophy of Malaguzzi onto our Swedish fabric.
     The Swedish preschool curriculum also covers Malaguzzi’s key points of being creative “by means of different forms of expression, such as pictures, song and music, drama, rhythm, dance and movement, as well as spoken and written language” as an essential part of “promoting the development and learning of the child” (Lpfö98, 2006 p.7)
    Södergren and Wiking (2008, p.26) write their concern that the Reggio Approach preschools in Sweden can never expect the parent participation that occurs at the preschools in Reggio Emilia in Italy. This, they believe, stems from the fact that preschools in Sweden arise from the parents need for childcare rather than being created for the children as they did in Reggio Emilia. This, though, does not consider the parent co-operatives in Sweden that rely on parental involvement – these co-operatives are not always Reggio inspired, but have many different influences – from traditional Swedish preschools, forest schools (Ur och Skur) to Montessori etc. Working at a Reggio inspired preschool without the parental involvement expectations and having my children at a parent co-operative without a Reggio profile has been an eye-opening experience to see just how valuable the interaction of parents is for teachers, parents and not least the children.
    Parents are seen as valuable by the Swedish curriculum as the section on preschool and home states  – “Parents should have the opportunity…to be involved and influence activities in the preschool.” (Lpfö98, 2006, p13) but are not as actively involved, on the whole, as the parents in Reggio Emilia.
    To see the environment as a third educator is something Swedish preschools are still working on, Bondesson et al (2007,p.37) had predicted that this would have been the area easiest for Swedish preschools to adopt from the Reggio philosophy, but were disappointed in their study to find that this was not the case. They felt that having a mirror pyramid was not enough and that the environments lacked sensual experiences and a more inspiring environment for the children’s creativity. Preschools in Sweden, both traditional and Reggio are making the transition from adult sized furniture to child sized (Thestrup and Sundquist, 2004 p.13). My own preschool has two child-sized tables and one adult-sized table, although there are discussions to invest in child-sized furniture for the entire department.
    The rights of children, “each individual shall be emphasised and made explicit in all preschool activity” (Lpfö, p.3) comes under the heading of fundamental values in the Swedish curriculum, the word “democracy” being the very first word used.
                          “Democracy forms the foundation of the preschool.” (Lpfö98, p3)
     This is very poignant when one considers that the preschools in Reggio Emilia were started as a reaction to the fascism Italy endured during World War II. Rinaldi (2008 p.140-141) writes of the importance of democracy in the preschools in Reggio Emilia and its connection to the children’s participation – “school as a place of democracy”.
    In Stockholm, we have not only the Swedish National Curriculum to follow, but also Stockholm’s Preschool Curriculum, which is a compliment to the national one. In the Stockholm Curriculum there is a section on pedagogical documentation (the word documentation does not occur in the national curriculum), it describes documentation as a tool to reflect and develop the setting, allowing the work at the preschool to be visible so that children, parents and staff have a basis for reflection as well as it being a support in self evaluation and part of the systematic quality of work (Stockholm Stad 2009, p.14).


    The Relevance of Reggio

    To give an idea of the extent of its influence, between January 1981 and January 1999 there were approximately six hundred delegations to Reggio Emilia with a total of about ten thousand visitors (Morrow, 1999, p.23). In Sweden it can be a long wait before one gets the opportunity to visit Reggio Emilia as part of one of the courses offered, as there are so many wanting to visit – my preschool is still on that waiting list – a year later.

    There are several areas of research identified by Abbot and Nutbrown (2007) arising from the inspiration of Malaguzzi and the Reggio Approach, for example the role of teachers, parents and play in the education of children. Also inclusion and attitudes to special educational needs as well as the role of the preschool environment and creativity.

    What Malaguzzi has introduced to Reggio Emilia is not necessarily new, Dewey (1980, p15) had written about traditional schools being a crime against the nature of children by not following the interests of the children and learning practically, as did Pestalozzi (1746-1827) (Nutbrown et al 2009, p.27). Nutbrown et al (2009) continue that play has had several pioneers including Montessori (1870-1952), Steiner (1861-1925), Fröbel (1782-1852), Isaacs (1885-1948) and Margaret Macmillan (1860-1931). Comenius (1592-1670) had written about how teachers should understand how a child’s mind works, as did Dewey (1859-1952), Vygotsky (1896-1934) and Montessori with their ideas of a child-centred education – with activities and interaction and Charlotte Mason’s (1842-1923) writings became known by some as a child’s Bill of Rights (Nutbrown et al, 2009, p.36). What was new with Malaguzzi was the longevity of putting his theory into his practical work. Gardner (1998, p.xvi) compares Dewey’s decades of writing theory and his four years of practical work in a school with Reggio Emilia, “Nowhere else in the world is there such a seamless and symbiotic relationship between a school’s progressive theory and its practices”. The “hundred languages of children” documents how the preschools in Reggio Emilia have evolved over forty years interweaving theory and practice during this time. Nutbrown (2006, p.121) quotes Moss (2001), that:

    “while we seek the answer which will be enable us to foreclose, in Reggio they understand that even after 30 years or more, their work remains provisional, continually open to new conditions, perspectives, understandings and possibilities”

    We need to also continually assess what we are doing, to weave into our practical work the theories that we are reading – and making it relevant to the situation we find ourselves in.

    Nutbrown et al (2009, p154-155) describe play as an important part of learning for children, and that although the word “play” is used often its definition is not always clear. After a period of children “working” in school being favoured, play, has once again, found a new respect.

    The EYFS and the Early Learning Goals (ELGs), however, provide sufficient flexibility for practitioners to follow children’s interests, respond to their ideas for developing play activities, and provide structured activities (which can also be playful) to teach specific knowledge and skills. (The National Strategies Early Years, 2009 p.5)

    For teachers in Reggio Emilia play is highly valued for its ability to promote development writes New (1998 p.274), but is only a part of the learning package – the project being of equal importance.

    Malaguzzi’s description of a child with rights rather than needs is relevant in the discussion of inclusion. Phillips (2007 p.52) writes that “ the hundred ways of thinking, of playing, of speaking” in Malaguzzi’s poem is a recognition of diversity rather than churning out a “standard” child from the school system. Inclusion has been a part of Reggio Emilia practice prior to it becoming national law in Italy in 1971 (Vakil et al, 2003, p187). Inclusion, though, is more than just placing special needs children in a classroom, write Vakil et al (2003, p187) it requires a holistic approach of the child with appropriate practices which is not always a possibility in a “strictly academic curriculum”. Smith (1998) writes that in Reggio Emilia an extra teacher is assigned to the group rather than the child which avoids, as Agneta Hellström called the “bodyguard model” in which the support teacher, often lacking in appropriate experience and training, is assigned to the child. Soncini, interviewed by Smith, goes on to explain how ALL teachers in the preschool are supplied with the relevant information so that children with special rights are welcomed in all classes and all areas of the school and not totally reliant on one adult (Smith, 1998: 201-205). Phillips (2007, pp58-59) points out that no place is perfect and that a recently built preschool had not been made wheelchair accessible, and that not all rooms and all materials were within reach for such children.

    Canella (1997 p.162) says the voices of children have been silenced by the weight of “adult” constructions of and for them. The English Foundation Stage Curriculum views the child as a future pupil, write Soler and Miller (2003, p.61), they continue that the curriculum is organised in stepping stones which views children’s development in a sequential manner. This means policy makers have assumed where levels begin and end for all children whereas, they write, Malaguzzi has stated the child as the starting point of the curriculum. Rinaldi, write Edwards et al, (1998 p.183), said that learning must be imagined as “spiralling” with children, teachers and parents as active parts of the learning process that cannot be expected to occur in any set order.

    Warash et al (2008 p.447) write of the similarities of Reggio Emilia with DAP (Developmentally Appropriate Practice) and the foundations of the Competent Learner Model, as those that have an appropriate curriculum, teaching strategies, and an appropriate learning environment so that children acquire the necessary competencies to be competent learners. They continue that Malaguzzi and the Reggio Approach have stimulated a “powerful arena for reflecting on and questioning educational practices”.
    Malaguzzi (1998 p.75-77) said that creativity should not be considered a separate mental faculty and that it requires the partnership of knowledge and expression rather than being at odds. Robinson (1998) has also come to understand the importance of creativity as a part of the educational process rather than a separate subject.
    Creativity is not simply a matter of letting go. Serious creative achievement relies on knowledge, control of materials and command of ideas. Creative education involves a balance between teaching knowledge and skills, and encouraging innovation. In these ways, creative development is directly related to cultural education. (Robinson, 1998, p.6)

     

    Final Dialogue

    The Reggio Emilia approach requires a great deal from its teachers, they need to have the energy and enthusiasm to develop and evolve, to have the ability to believe in themselves and in the children and parents, they need to be able to be part of a team – not just a team of colleagues, but of the whole community. Malaguzzi had great expectations of his teachers and could be exacting and demanding, but this was a part of his respect for their intelligence, abilities and possibilities (Rinaldi, 2008 p.59) in just the same way that a teacher strives to help a child reach his full potential. Warash et al (2008, p.445) observed that teachers in Reggio did not praise children for work below their full capacity and that there is a persistence of questioning that is not seen in the U.S.A, where fostering self-esteem is more dominant.

    One concern is the lack of research into the effects of the Reggio approach. There is no research into whether or not they achieve what they set out to do. There is no knowing whether or not the children will grow up into adults able to think for themselves and trust in their own convictions. There is a need to evaluate their own effectiveness – not to just continuously evaluate the time of the early childhood years – but to see whether it does have a lasting effect – whether these children keep their “extra pocket” into adulthood, and if they do, whether they use the contents of this extra pocket (Hunter 2007). If they are not keeping or using these pockets there is then a need to develop their practice further so that they do in fact achieve the goals the original parents had set and the very reason for the preschools existing.
    There are studies that show that preschool does have lasting effects - the High/Scope method HAS been evaluated and showed that working with young children does in fact improve conditions for adult life (Schweinhart 2009).  The EPPE (Effective Pre-school and Primary Education), the largest study in Europe on the effects of preschool education on children’s intellectual and social and behavioural development, has also shown that good quality preschool education has lasting effects beyond the preschool years (Sylva & Siraj-Blatchford, 2009)

    Having attended a Reggio Course in Stockholm I found it strange that we were unable to take photographs at the preschool we visited that had been to Reggio Emilia in Italy – their reason being that they themselves had not been allowed to take photographs during their visit in Italy. I could not reconcile with the fact that a pedagogical philosophy, which promotes photographic documentation as a method of memory stimulation to further deepen the learning process, would then deny visitors such a source of inspiration. When I questioned the ban on photography there came an explanation of making ones own journey. This I can understand, but at the same time question – we have travel guides that help us make decisions about a journey, including photographs and information to help us make a choice. Even if we were to choose what was recommended in the guidebook it would never be the same experience – the weather might be different, the group of people would interact in a different way etc – producing something new and unique. The photographs of the preschools that allowed such documentation (on the same course) have proved to be a great source of inspiration. We could never replicate what they have done as our building and our needs are different – but they serve to inspire us to create something new in our own location and question what we do now.

    It is impossible to say just how much influence Malaguzzi and the Reggio Approach has had upon early childhood educational practices, but without a doubt the sheer numbers of educators visiting Reggio Emilia and reading the literature must be having an impact on how teachers view the child and their own educational approach.
    Carlo Barsotti (2005) described Loris Malaguzzi as a genuine person and that maybe his greatness lay in the fact he was never satisfied with his successes. He continues that Malaguzzi never wrote down his early childhood pedagogy as a method as he believed it to be continually changing and evolving, that the teachers should also be non static and offer tools and experiences that the children could use to stimulate their creativity. It is this influence, writes New (2000, p.4) to promote, change, but reflection, debate, and conversation--that may well be Malaguzzi’s and the preschools of Reggio Emilia greatest legacy. 



    References
    Atner, Wolfgang (1994) Obituary Friday 1st April, Independant- Retrieved October 2009 from: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-loris-malaguzzi-1367204.html

    Barnett W. Steven, (2009). The economic case. Early Childhood Programmes The Open University. Retrieved October 2009 from: http://www.bernardvanleer.org/publications/publications_search_form

    Barsotti, Anna (2009) Reggio Emilia Introduction Course September 2009, Reggio Emilia Institutet, Stockholm (own notes)

    Barsotti, C. (2005). Möten med Loris Malaguzzi. In. Grut, K. Exemplet Reggio Emilia-pedagogik för demokrati och lokal utveckling. Premiss Förlag (own translation)

    Bishop, John (2007). Creating Places for Living and Learning, in Experiencing Reggio Emilia- implications for pre-school provision. Open University Press.

    Bondesson, Catherina, Näslund Lennartsson, Ann-Margreth, Wiman, Anna-Karin, (2007) En Svenska kopernikansk kullerbytta? Sex pedagoger beskriver sitt tankesätt och arbetssätt utifrån Reggio Emilias Pedagogiska filosofi. (own translation) A Swedish Copernicus Somersault. Högskolan i Borås, Institution för Pedagogik. Retrieved October 2009 from: http://bada.hb.se/handle/2320/3448

    Cannella, G.S (1997). Deconstructing Early Childhood Education: Social Justice and revolution. New York: Peter Lang

    Dewey, John. (1980). Individ, skola och samhälle. Stockholm: Natur och kultur. (own translation)

    Dahlberg, Gunilla Moss, Peter (2008). Introduction, in In Dialogue with Reggio Emilia. Listening, researching and Learning Open University Press.

    Edwards, Gandini and Forman (1998). Introduction in The Hundred languages of Children. The Reggio Emilia Approach – Advanced Reflections. Ablex Publishing Corporation
    Edwards, C., Gandini, L., & Forman, G. (1993) The hundred languages of children: the Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corporation.

    Fronczek Valerie (2009). Realising the Rights of Young Children: progress and Challenges. Early Childhood Matters November /113– Bernard van Leer Foundation

    Gandini, Lella, (1998) Educational and Caring Spaces, in The Hundred Languages of Children, The Reggio Emilia Approach – Advanced Reflections. Ablex Publishing Corporation

    Göhlich, Michael (2008). Surmounting Crises by Openness. The History of Reggio Emilia Preschools as Process of Organizational. Retrieved in November 2009 from: http://www.springerlink.com/content/g157516785068316/  

    Hewitt, V M, (2001). Examining the Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education. Early Childhood Education Journal, Vol 29, No.2

    Hunter, Caroline (2007). Sunniva’s extra pocket – a parents reflection. Experiencing Reggio Emilia – Implications for preschool provision. Open University Press

    Leask, Jenny, (2007). Sam’s Invisible extra gear – a parents view. Experiencing Reggio Emilia – Implications for preschool provision Open University Press

    Malaguzzi, Loris (1993). Your image of the child: where the teaching begins. Retrieved November 2009 from: emh.kaiapit.net/ShiningStars/.../YourImageChildTeachingBegins.pdf

    Malaguzzi, Loris (1994) The Bill of Three Rights Innovations in Early Education: The International Reggio Exchange, volume 2, number 1

    Melville Jones H.E. (2000). The Rights of Children: A suggested Approach for Early Childhood Care and Education in Australia. Paper presented at the Australian Association for Research in Education Conference, Sydney, Australia. Retrieved November 2009 from http://www.aare.edu.au/00pap/mel00525.htm

    Moss, Peter (2007). The otherness of reggio. Experiencing Reggio Emilia– Implications for preschool provision Open University Press.
    Morrow, L. (1999). The municipal infant-toddler centers and pre-schools of Reggio Emilia. Historical notes and general information. (2nd ed.). Reggio Children Srl.
    New, Rebecca S. (2000). Reggio Emilia: Catalyst for Change and Conversation. Eric Digest.  Retrieved In November 2009 from: http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/custom/portlets/recordDetails/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED447971&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=ED447971 
    New, Rebecca S. (1998). Theory and Praxis in Reggio Emilia. The Hundred Languages of Children , The Reggio Emilia Approach – Advanced Reflections. Ablex Publishing Corporation.

    Nutbrown, C. & Abbot, L. (2007). chapter 1 Experiencing Reggio Emilia -. Implications for Preschool Provision. Open University Press

    Nutbrown, Cathy (2006). Key Concepts in Early Childhood Education and Care. London:Sage Publications

    Nutbrown, C., Clough, P., & Selbie,P. (2009)Early Childhood Education. History, Philosophy and Experience.London: Sage Publications

    Phillips, Sylvia. (2007). Special needs or special  rights? Experiencing Reggio Emilia -. Implications for Preschool Provision. Open University Press.

    Rankin Baji (2004) The importance of Intentional Socialization among Children in Small Groups: A conversation with Loris Malaguzzi Early Childhood education Journal, vol. 32, No. 2 p81-85

    Rinaldi, Carlina (2008). Malaguzzi and the teachers. In Dialogue with Reggio Emilia. Listening, researching and Learning. Routledge

    Rinaldi, Carlina (2008). Documentation and assessment. In Dialogue with Reggio Emilia. Listening, researching and Learning. Routledge

    Robinson, Ken. (1998). All our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education. NACCCE report. Retrieved December 2009 from www.cypni.org.uk/downloads/alloutfutures.pdf

    Rösne, Greger & Sköldefors, Lovisa, (1999). Det Nya Läroplan för Förskolan. Om litteratur, Modern Barndom REI Skriftserie. (own translation) The New Curriculum for the Preschool.

    Smith, Cathleen. (1998). Children with ”Special Rights” in the Preprimary Schools and Infant-Toddler Centers of Reggio Emilia.  The Hundred launguages of Children , The Reggio Emilia Approach – Advanced Reflections. Ablex Publishing Corporation.

    Södergren, Ellinor & Wiking, Petra (2008). Hur ser Reggio Emilias filosofi ut när den lyfts in i ett annat kulturellt sammanhang? examination paper, Institutuion of Pegagogics

    Scott, Wendy (2007). Listening and learning.  Experiencing Reggio Emilia -. Implications for Preschool Provision. Open University Press

    Skolverket, (Swedish National Agency for Education), (2006). Curriculum for the preschool Lpfö98,

    Spaggiari (1998). The Community-Teacher partnership The Hundred Languages of children , The Reggio Emilia Approach – Advanced Reflections. Ablex Publishing Corporation.

    Soler, Janet & Miller, Linda (2003). The Struggle for Early Childhood Curricula: a comparison of the English Foundation Stage Curriculum, Te Whäriki and Reggio Emilia. International Journal of Early Years Education, Vol.11, No 1 p57-67

    Schweinhart, Lawrence J. (2009) The HighScope Perry Preschool Early Childhood Programmes The Open University. Retrieved October 2009 from: http://www.bernardvanleer.org/publications/publications_search_form

    Stockholm Stad, Förskoleplan för Stockholms Stad, 2009 (own translation) Preschool Curriculum for Stockholm City.

    Sylva, Kathy & Siraj-Blatchford Iram,: the Effective Pre-school and Primary Education (EPPE) study. Early Childhood Programmes The Open University. Retrieved October 2009 from: http://www.bernardvanleer.org/publications/publications_search_form

    The National Strategies, (2009). Early Years. Learning, Playing and Interacting. Good Practice in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Retrieved December 2009 from http://nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/pt/eyfs (pdf)

    Thestrup, Bodil & Sundquist, Gun, (2004). Reggio Emilia inspiration i förskolan. (own translation) Högskolan Kristianstad/Enheten för lärarutbildning. Retrieved October 2009 from: http://eprints.bibl.hkr.se/archive/00000201/

    United Nations (1989). Convention on the Rights of the Child Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 44/25 of 20 November. Retrieved October 2009 from: http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/44/a44r025.htm

    Van den Bosch, Frida (2009), Små rum i rummet. Om hur pedagoger i två praktiker ser på hur barn påverkas av sin förskolas fysiska innemiljö. Small rooms within the room, about two preschools inside envi-roments. högskolan i Borås  (own translation) Retrieved October 2009 from: http://bada.hb.se/handle/2320/5127

    Vakil, Shernavaz; Freeman, Ramona & Swim Terry Jo (2003) The Reggio Emilia Approach and Inclusive Early Childhood Programs Early Childhood Education Journal, Vol. 30, No. 3, Spring

    Vecchi, Vea, (1999). Förskolans Läroplan – en utmaning. Om litteratur, Modern Barndom REI Skriftserie. (own translation)

    Warash, Bobbie; Curtis, Reagan; Hursh, Dan & Tucci, Vicci; (2008). Skinner meets Piaget on the Reggio Playground: Practical Synthesis of Applied Behaviour Analysis and Developmentally Appropriate practice orientations. Journal of Research in Childhood Education  22, 441-454. Retrieved October 2009 from: http://proquest.umi.com.eresources.shef.ac.uk/pqdweb?index=0&did=1552015281&SrchMode=1&sid=1&Fmt=6&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1262202723&clientId=29199

    Zakin, Andrea (2005) A Vygotskian Approach to Art Education: Cognitive Functioning in the Artistic process. New York University