Tag Archives: meaning

sand jewels shells copy



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.

Carlina Rinaldi


Get a Group


A couple of nights ago I spent the evening with a group of women; a potluck dinner, with wine, coffee and conversation around a cozy fireplace.  Not an unusual scenario.

But here’s the thing, after we finished dinner we settled down for the real event…..our ECE practice. We talked about the silences in our practice, the topics we don’t know how to address, like racialization  among children, or sexuality. We talked of how our discomfort around this is so profound, but how our silence sends it’s own message.  We talked of holidays like Halloween and Christmas and wondered if we truly created spaces for parents to share their traditions. The conversation ranged over these and so many more topics for 3 hours, and then half an hour more at the door as we tried to leave.

We have been meeting for five years and we never run out of things to say. We can share the “hard topics” knowing that respect and understanding will prevail. And we have definitely tackled some hard topics.

And you know what has happened over the five years? Our practice has changed.  All of us have brought new thinking to our programs, rethought routines, changed the environment, listened  to children more, got rid of rules we used to think were important.  We have begun doing pedagogical narrations, we’ve read books on post modern theoretical frameworks, and sought out international perspectives. Some of us have written articles, presented at conferences, and pursued further education.

Having this group has been a profound experience for us all. In our profession there is little opportunity for deep conversation; staff meetings usually focus on who will clean the paint pots or who will order construction paper.  And rarely does professional development allow for thinking deeply on ideas and issues.

So get out there and get a group. Find some like minded ECEs,  choose an article, or a book to get the discussion started and meet. Go to a coffee shop, a house, a child care setting and start talking. Amazing things might happen.

PS If you need a book or article to get you started just ask, I have lots of great ones!


Wabi-sabi and Other Art Forms

I have the cheapest camera out there. Despite living with a photographer for 30 years, I have completely failed to catch on to the nuances of F/stops or ISO speed. So the dummy setting on a cheap camera is perfect for me.

But here’s the best part of having a cheap camera…..I can hand it off to kids without a worry. Loop on the wrist strap, show them the right button to push, and they’re set to go.

Adults have rules about photos. We take photos to capture a moment, to remember something, to record a time or place, to  keep the emotion of an event alive. We think about framing, composition, tell the subject to say cheese, make sure there is no spinach on anyone’s teeth. Something of the photographer can be revealed by the photos.

Now I can’t say exactly what kids are thinking about when they take photos, but I think they would zoom in on the spinach. The rules are different, and the photos are different, but they too tell us something about the photographer. And the fact that they are 3 feet shorter offers a perspective on how they see the environment.

Sometimes what we see in art is all about the context….



Wabi-sabi is the quintessential Japanese aesthetic. 

It is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.

It is a beauty of things modest and humble, 

and of “things unconventional


Abstract Photography

Abstract photography is a process of using colours and patterns combined to create an image, with no true meaning or no clear subject involved.


Candid Photography

Candid photography is best described as un-posed and unplanned,

 immediate and unobtrusive. 

Candid photography catches moments of life from immersion in it.

 Thanks Danielle for this inspirational idea.