You knew who I was talking about, didn’t you!?
Yes, Carlina Rinaldi of Reggio. I had the privilege of listening to her yesterday at the International Innovations in ECE at the University of Victoria, and I, like the other 350 people there, were happy to give her a standing ovation before she uttered a single word.
I first heard Carlina speak at a conference in 2008 when I was just beginning to learn about the philosophy of Reggio and I was mesmerized by what she said. I wrote pages of notes as she spoke, then filled many more pages of my own reflections on my flight home. I spent the next 4 years thinking, reading, and talking about these ideas. I became part of the Investigating Quality Project where I encountered post foundational thinking, found people who were equally passionate about redefining what child care can be. My practice changed, I changed.
So this time as I listened to Carlina speak the ideas were not new to me, in fact it was familiar, like listening to a wise friend. But still I was mesmerized, and again I took pages of notes.
Her message is powerful. She calls on us to attend to children, to attend to ourselves as teachers, to think about what kind of teacher we want to be, what kind of human we want to be. She tells us that a strong and competent child needs a strong and competent teacher. That as teachers we are also researchers, not just of children, but of our own learning processes. That education is to risk, to trust. That learning is a love story. That learning and loving are the same. And that listening is the key element, we need to be listened to by another, this is what gives us meaning, identity.
Her passion drew me in and I am amazed and inspired all over again.
Trust our children- they are not only our future, they are our present.