Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Right blog, right time

Today seems to be one of those days when people send me links to blogs that make me simultaneously happy and weepy.

Two of them are: Daily Poetics (thank you Cheryl) and Before I die I want to... (thanks Eddie and Bri). I am also addicted to thxthxthx which makes me smile nearly every morning.

I'm not sure if it's the blogs or the cold and flu tablets, but I'm feeling calm and warm right now.

Monday, June 28, 2010

One Hundred Languages

The Reggio Emilia Approach is inspiring me in my work today. It strengthens my belief that the arts is not a subject area, but a means by which children can create and communicate meaning across all learning areas. It also reminds me why we need to encourage all kinds of spiritual exploration with young people. The hundred languages poem says this much better than I could ever hope to:

The Hundred Languages

No way. The hundred is there.
The child
is made of one hundred.
The child has
a hundred languages
a hundred hands
a hundred thoughts
a hundred ways of thinking
of playing, of speaking.

A hundred always a hundred
ways of listening
of marveling, of loving
a hundred joys
for singing and understanding
a hundred worlds
to discover
a hundred worlds
to invent
a hundred worlds
to dream.

The child has
a hundred languages
(and a hundred hundred hundred more)
but they steal ninety-nine.
The school and the culture
separate the head from the body.
They tell the child:
to think without hands
to do without head
to listen and not to speak
to understand without joy
to love and to marvel
only at Easter and at Christmas.

They tell the child:
to discover the world already there
and of the hundred
they steal ninety-nine.

They tell the child:
that work and play
reality and fantasy
science and imagination
sky and earth
reason and dream
are things
that do not belong together.

And thus they tell the child
that the hundred is not there.
The child says:
No way. The hundred is there.

-Loris Malaguzzi (translated by Lella Gandini)
Founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach