Our Thinking Studios are virtual spaces created for learning together with dialogue, ideas and documentation of thinking. We gather in small groups, playi with ideas, and create spaces for generating new possibilities together, it feels just like our in person Thinking Studios. The collective thinking structure allows us to share in all of our experiences and as we interact, we gain new perspectives on our work.
Thinking Studios Online to Come
A series of Documentation Dialogues is being constructed. This is a series of four Thinking Studios Online where we will consider a piece of documentation as the intersection of the children’s and the educator’s research. The topics are varied from decolonizing practice, to children’s generated ideas for well-being, artistic processes, and children’s connections to the land.
Thinking Studios Online from 2020
ReCognition was pleased to offer these Thinking Studios Online as a learning space designed to help you co-construct your own ideas about some of the questions that challenge us right now. Reflecting in large and small groups with active participation and facilitated conversations is part of our learning space together. Sharing our experiences and generating ideas will be collected to offer back to the group to make our thinking visible to each other. It’s just like our live experiences, now offered online.
Responding during Covid: a unique series co hosted with Susan Stacey
ReOpening, ReCreating, and Responding with Possibilities in COVID-19: a series of four pedagogical dialogues on exploring ideas together
“To see this ‘great pause’ as an opportunity to re-think, re-set and embark on a new journey.” Susan Stacey
As we found ourselves in a new way of being in our work as early years educators, we wondered about the possibilities for different ways of thinking? What possibilities can arise out of this complex context we find ourselves in? We came together for a series of dialogues, that built on strategies for meaning-making, along with practicalities, in these new times that were and still are, being created. We, as a group of professionals, desired to work in a way that honours our values and our creativity, and that is what brought us to this online space for us to think and create together. As a beginning point in our thinking , ReCognition in partnership with Susan Stacey, invited participants to read the blog post on “The Big Re-Opening”-Possibilities during COVID-19” at www.suestacey.ca and then join in with Susan and our group to have a dialogue about our responses to these ideas.
Topics for the subsequent four dialogues will emerge from the first conversation, and are likely to include thinking about such challenges and opportunities as: facing our fears and hearing children’s ideas on COVID, outdoor spaces, and thinking of simplicity and well-being for ourselves and the children we are with. Other ideas may arise from our conversations.
What questions does this blog post quote spark for you?
This time has given us a gift- forcing us to rethink and slow down, asks us what do our relationships mean? Michelle
We have scripts to work against…let go of the taken-for-granted and re-examine everything. Sue
How do we live alongside all the pieces in our work when it may be life and death? What would be a balance? Dominque
Continuing with the idea of connecting with families online in the future. Heather
Themes of thinking that emerged from our first dialogue:
- small groups and relationships
- the outdoors
- environments of calm, simplicity, well-being
- the importance of documentation
- rethinking and curating materials
Much of our conversation centered around these ideas. As we wrestled with honouring who we are as educators and the values we hold, we brought forth more questions for us to think about as we move into this new space we find ourselves in.
We agreed to study and dialogue on three more ideas together. The outdoors, simplicity and well-being, and studying our documentation of these times.
(self portrait, photographer, Harvey Boelsma, 2 years 7 months)
Spaces for listening: Facing our Fears the second dialogue Thursday, July 30, 2020
Our first dialogue had many ideas and topics that arose as possibilities to think about together. Aspects of relationships, the outdoors, creating spaces for hearing children’s and educators narratives on their experiences in this time, and the power of documentation.
The Threads: complexity in simplicity, documenting the children’s responses, documenting this time in history, the idea of waiting, listening waiting, slowing down to listen, taking notice of what children are saying, taking/giving back their power, how can we tell the stories…outdoor, relationships and small groups. Calm, well-being, materials and imagination and the big idea of transformation.
Our second dialogue had a beginning reference point for our thinking, of creating spaces for wellness, comfort and thinking of simplicity in our ways of moving forward. We introduced the concepts of “hygge”, and our re-interpretation of those principles in our developing contexts.
Our second topic of this dialogue focused on listening for children’s ideas and narratives in our spaces. What have you been noticing? What have you been attending to? We shared our experiences and thoughts as we looked at our present and leaned into the future.
We are approaching this as a co-researcher…of some of these ideas in the second dialogue and the follow up dialogues to come..
“And, we discussed the importance, when the children come back, of watching and waiting. The need for patience, to see ‘where children are’ in response to the pandemic. They will have opinions and fears. They’ll need a safe place to express them. Therefore, we as educators also need to know and face our fears, and have a place to discuss them. Online forums can work, as can team meetings. How can we help children, and ourselves, to find ways of feeling safe?
ReOpening, ReCreating, and Responding -a third conversation Thursday, August 27, 2020
The Outdoors: A Place to Breathe
In response to the pandemic, educators are thinking about outdoor spaces as a place of learning, where children are engaging and interacting for longer periods of time, in different weather conditions, and we wonder how to equip ourselves for this new reality?
As a response to the current situation, Susan Stacey wrote a blog that inspired some thinking for us as educators. See her blog post here https://suestacey.ca/the-big-re-opening-possibilities-during-covid-19/
“What a perfect time to take our programs outside. As educators, we know the value of connecting to the earth, the sensorial opportunities, the freedom to move and to discover, the curiosities that children have about the natural world, and its messages to us. It is a safe classroom waiting for us in all it’s glory. A place to breathe.” Susan Stacey
This is an opportunity for a collaborative dialogue in creating deeper meanings and thinking about our nature pedagogies. With readings, and, an in person dialogue with Susan, along with readings… we will be able to feel inspired and refreshed in our possibilities with learning and being outdoors. Finding room to breathe for ourselves and the children and educators we are with each day.
What interesting and new possibilities can arise out of this complex context we find ourselves in?
Readings will be sent ahead of time for you to think about before we head into our dialogue together.
ReCognition is pleased to offer this Thinking Studio Online as a learning space designed to help you co-construct your own ideas about some of the questions that challenge us right now. Reflecting in large and small groups with active participation and facilitated conversations is part of our learning space together. Sharing our experiences and generating ideas will be collected to offer back to the group to make our thinking visible to each other.
It’s just like our live experiences, now offered online.
ReOpening, ReCreating, and Responding -a fourth conversation October 13, 2020
Hearing Children’s Voices through Documentation, in COVID times
“As they return, how will children show us what they know about Covid? Probably, as some people have already seen, through ‘Covid play,’ just as children played out the events of 9/11. And we can think about the possibilities of art. Painting, drawing, modeling, all provide outlets. We wondered, in our discussion, about dramatic play, and how this could be made safe. And yet, I have to believe that children will act out their ideas whether they have typical ‘props’ or not. The language of drama is a broad one. Fabric, outdoor nooks, branches, etc. provide ways to act out ideas. Children have acted out world events for hundreds of years without any help from us; they will continue to do so.” Susan Stacey
Our fourth and final dialogue is an invitation to notice children’s ideas around COVID and their lived experience in a pandemic. Our intention is to ground our dialogue in the processes of documentation and hearing children’s voices in our contexts. This online experience will be where you will be able to share your own documentation with us… a photo, a rough form of notes, a piece of text, or a conversation. How can we share the children’s experiences? What transforms our thinking as we research this particular time in history? Let’s gather round and share stories…
This is an opportunity for a collaborative dialogue in creating deeper meanings and thinking about the voices of children and our continued responses. What stories are being told of this time? Researching ideas that are brought forth by this ever-changing context brings excitement and wondering to our work.