Educators RolesOne of the educator’s roles is to set up and organize the classroom to be accessible and interesting to the children.
They can do this by making sure that everything is placed at the children’s level such as the documentations and the children’s art work. Educators also have the role to organize materials and to make sure that the environment is clean, tidy and aesthetically pleasing to help encourage the children to explore and make thoughtful decisions. The educator’s role is also to observe the children, listen to their questions and answer them and listen to stories that they want to share with them for example, what they did during the weekend. Their role is to also find out about their interest to be able to plan the most appropriate and suitable curriculum that will get them to be actively engaged, explore and learn new things.
The educators should also co-explore the learning experience along with the children, helping children come up with new ideas and creative ways of thinking, helping them to problem solve and with conflict resolution. Take ideas from the children and bring them back with further exploration in fun ways that will interest them. The educators also need to observe and document the children’s progress by taking pictures, videos, keeping a record in the children’s portfolios.
The Reggio Emilia is very well known for not planning a curriculum in advance, but are instead emerged from the children’s interests. It’s a children led curriculum. The hundred languages of children One of the most important aspect that the Reggio Emilia approach places great importance on, is that they believe that children have a hundred different languages that they use to communicate and express themselves. They also have different ways to show their understanding, show their feelings, creativity and express their thoughts and opinion. (Slipp, 2017) The hundred different ways that children use to express themselves could be shown in so many ways. Children can express their thoughts, emotions and learning through art, drawing, sculpting, music, dance, painting, pretend play and many more ways.
All those different languages should be respected and valued. (Slipp, 2017) All the unique languages and the varied ways of thinking are all part of the children which is why they are priceless and should be respected and encouraged. The Reggio Emilia approach also put an emphasis on how learning and play are essentially connected and not seperated. (Slipp, 2017) The Reggio Emilia also values and find it essential that children have hands-on learning activities that will permit the children to use all their senses and all their various languages to discover, explore and learn new things. (Slipp, 2017) Observations and documentationsObservations are really important in the Reggio Emilia program.
There are many reasons to why educators observe the children and document what they see and hear. “Stand aside a while and leave the room for learning, observe carefully what children do, and then if you have understood well, perhaps teaching will be different than before” by Loris Malaguzzi First of all, they find out more about the children’s interests, strengths and also weaknesses. By knowing this, the educator could plan the most appropriate and helpful curriculum for their children. This will really help the children learn a lot more than if the educator planned a curriculum without knowing what the children’s interests are or without knowing what the children are capable of doing and what they need a little more help to do. “Teachers continue to observe and document during the project’s process and this documentation makes it “possible for the teachers to sustain the children’s learning while they also learn (to teach) from the children’s own learning” (Pam Oken- Wright) Documentations really point out the children’s play for example, by analyzing their intentions during and also after play. Documentations also occur at different stages of accomplishments.
Similarly to any story, a piece of work may have a beginning, middle, and end that take place and develops over time with experiences and through trial and error. By documenting, we have a clear view and proof of the children’s progressions that happens through play when the children are really engaged and interested. Generally, documentation in the form of observation also for recordkeeping are certainly encouraged in all childhood programs. Nonetheless, documentation in Reggio Emilia mainly focus on the children’s experiences, thoughts and ideas during the process itself. Reggio Emilia value the children’s work and make it a priority to display the children’s work with great care and in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Educators usually document the different stages of the process of the children’s work. Documentation could also include photos of children during the process, comments written by the teacher, samples of the the child’s work. Writing down discussion between the children and comments that they made and also explanations from the child about the activity, what they did and why they did it the way they chose to do it.
Observations could also be in the form of tape-recordings and photographs. Pictures of the children and their work could be displayed around the room or in the hallways at the children’s level. (Lilian G & Sylvia C, 1996) Other documentation that could be used are: a learning story, running record, pictures, children’s portfolio, checklist, classlist log, slideshows, tape recording, booklets during free play and open ended activities.