We all have different ways of viewing the world. Our values and beliefs are framed culturally, socially, politically, historically to name a few and are rooted in our ongoing experiences. In early childhood fields, we all have different changeable perspectives and experiences too. For us, that is what makes our work so exciting as we all have much to learn from each other and so much still to learn as we encounter new experiences and theories together. Therefore, in the spirit
of recognising and celebrating our diversity we outline here what we value and believe in, our paradigm as such, but acknowledge too that we continually construct our knowledge and values with others.
We believe it is important to offer young children opportunity to deepen and constantly elaborate their research of the world that surrounds them, to express and communicate with others what they come to know in a multitude of modes and languages including digital languages. These languages are not separate, or taught separately but rather weave together enabling children to express what they know ‘in a hundred languages’. Therefore we see digital learning as a blended modality, often if not always together with other modes and materials.
We aim to create environments and encounters that respect the curious nature of children, not just as inquisitive explorers but as critical thinkers with a view of the world that is their own but that is constructed in relation to others.
Therefore we consider our role as educators to look like how look how Olsson (2009, p.11) describes the educator as one who:
“… has the role of listening carefully to children as well as arranging situations where children can work with their questions and problems… [so that] children, together with their peers and teachers, can be engaged in the collective construction of knowledge and values.”
Often we might be asking, which materials, or which contexts will enable children to construct a problem or question that together we can engage in a process of knowledge building that elaborates the children’s ideas from their many different perspectives. It is not that there is only ever one problem or singular answer, but many ways and many points of view.
We believe children construct learning in relation to others (other children, their families, ourselves as educators) and we think that they do not just have to be capped at exploring or enjoying something (with hands) but instead have the right to bring their competent minds that construct ideas and thoughts to fruition, to realise them and therefore make how they learn visible.
Therefore as educator collaborating in research we accept our responsibility to construct ethical and values-based pedagogical approaches that respect children’s active curiosity, their desire to construct meaning and communicate how they perceive the world in which we all reside together in their multiple modalities of expression including digital.
Liselott Mariett Olsson (2009) Movement and Experimentation in Young Children’s Learning: Deleuze and Guattari in early childhood education. Routledge