A friend asked me today why I admired the work of the folks in Reggio Emilia so much. I sent on this quote by Howard Gardner to reply.
"As an American educator, I cannot help be struck by certain paradoxes. In America, we pride ourselves in being focused in children, yet we do not pay sufficient attention to what they are actually expressing. We call for cooperative learning among children, yet we have rarely sustained cooperation at the level of teacher and administrator. We call for artistic works, but we rarely fashion environments that can truly support or inspire them. We call for parental involvement but are loathe to share ownership, responsibility, and credit with parents. We recognize the need for community, but we so often crystallize immediately into interest groups. We hail the discovery method, but we do not have the confidence to allow children to follow their own noses and hunches. We call for debate but often spurn it; we call for listening but prefer to talk; we are affluent but do not safeguard those resources that can allow us to remain so and to foster the affluence of others. Reggio is so instructive in these respects. We are often intent to invoke slogans, the educators in Reggio work tirelessly to solve many of these fundamental-and fundamentally difficult-issues."
-- Posted from mobile phone