The Image of the Child in Your Practice
Is the child weak, incompetent, needy, or are they valuable?
What positions and places do children occupy?
Are children citizens of the future, or are they citizens right now?
Are they public subjects, or are they subjects of privacy?
Who makes these decisions?
The answers you have to these questions determine how you work with children.
Reggio’s thinking is constantly changing. They encounter people, media, and they are influenced by these things.
We have heard for years and years that children are empty vessels. This image influences us.
We have heard that adults draw out theories from children, which then influences us.
All of this underscores something important:
They do NOT think of a child as a researcher.
They tell us what children are NOT capable of doing as opposed to what children ARE capable of doing.
The problem isn’t whether or not these theories and ways of thinking are correct. It is the implications that they have for practice.
-Daniela Lanzi Pedagogista in Reggio Emilia
Lecture from the US College Students and Professors conference March 26, 2013
What is your image of the child? What do you believe is good for them? Where do they belong? If we have no intention behind these questions, then the prevailing dominant ideas will persist. If we want to change the dominant culture, it will start with awareness and an intention to make a change.
The implications of what you believe is that it will influence your practice, and how you are when you are with children.