Curating Mindful Inquiry - Part One


“The dialogue between ourselves and other imprints how we learn in the world” - Edgar Morin

Last year, I was able to spend time at the schools of Reggio Emilia. This post is part one of a three part series inspired by the ideas presented in that study tour.

As humans, we are all invested in discovering our world. The practices of discovery allow us to test ideas of what might be happening, to draw conclusion, and to create a construct that explains and categorizes as a ‘truth’ from our discovery.

This idea of ‘truth’ from a discovery stays with us until new information is presented. When new information is presented, we either assimilate it into our thinking or we reach a place of disequilibrium. Our disequilibrium allows us reexamine what we know to be ‘truth’, incorporate new information, and therefore develop new theories to explain what we experience. Constructing a new ‘truth’ based on the above incorporates new knowledge. As long as we engage in this iterative process, we are evolving our thinking.

We often believe that there needs to be one ‘truth’ or that there is only ‘one theory,’ however If we can move away from the right answer and move towards the evolution of ideas, then we have created a construct for ongoing critical thinking that applies to the development of understanding of all new context and situations we experience.

How can educators curate mindful inquiry in our work with children? We start by remembering that educators are both researcher and practitioner. We cannot separate our inquiry into how children experience life from the practice of our classroom.

We can use questions to guide our thinking.

Who is the child?

How do they learn?

What is the role of the teacher?

What is the role of the school?

Part of curating mindfulness practices with children relates to how we see and respect children through…

Seeing the child as competent.

Understanding that all construction of knowledge happens in the context of relationships.

Supporting children’s learning in context to the everyday life of the child.

So, we must find ways as adults to co-exist with children with practices that support the relational development of knowledge. As humans, we socially contract meaning together. This requires us to examine our role as educators in children’s learning. To support children’s development as critical thinkers in a social context, we must shift from the act of teaching to the act of co-learning together.

How do you curate mindful practices?