Lifelong Lessons in Learner Centered Education

Lifelong Lessons in Learner Centered Education

Here are the concepts that I have continually practiced during my career with school age children. These practices have worked wonderfully, supported the children, their education, the parents, and the entire learning community.

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Digital Landscapes

Digital Landscapes

There are many strengths and concerns about how we offer these digital provocations and the impact on young children. So, I have been spending time thinking about a theoretical framework for the digital environment.

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The Gathering

The Gathering

The gathering is a conversation amongst the learning community that is filled with possibilities for the work in the classroom. What makes a good gathering? What are the elements that make the gathering an experience that builds the learning community?

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Thrilled to Learn

Thrilled to Learn

Joyful play in children is about engagement. It starts with the children’s interest in a material or an idea. This is a process where children, alone and in collaboration, engage with their interest and take a deep dive into the process of finding answers.

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Electronics Day

Electronics Day

Technology can be wonderful. The potential of computers and online learning to expand our knowledge is amazing. In our field, schools exist that frequently utilize computers and other technology in meaningful work.

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It's Our Nature

It's Our Nature

A growing majority of people in our country has lost their connection to nature. Wondering how to encourage a large segment of the community to re-connect to nature, get some exercise, and change attitudes that are harmful to the environment, I considered how early childhood educators can lead the way bringing folks back to nature.

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Quiet Time

Quiet Time

In school age care exists a tradition called quiet time. This time is when all children must lower their energy and practice activities that are approved by the educators in the program. In many programs, the available choices for children are limited or exclusively tied to reading. Is quiet time a necessary requirement for school-age children?

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The Playground of the Future

The Playground of the Future

As a child I played in our neighborhood. While there was a playground at our local school, we used infrequently. The popular areas of the playground were the swings and the metal climbing structures that were made of pipe and had a fall zone of hard clay soil. As children, we did not realize bark chips and soft surfaces made from old tennis shoes existed. The city was our playground.

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Looking for Adventure

Looking for Adventure

Recently, while reading about the growth of forest preschools and reading online posts about beautiful forest schools in other countries, places where children spend their days rain or shine with dedicated educators pursuing their interests and accepting risks in the natural world---I started to wonder about the children who live in our larger cities.

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A World of Materials

A World of Materials

The variety of philosophies and ideas in our field is fascinating and always constitute debate, but I believe that deep down in our hearts all educators are looking for a material or a method that they believe represents the best for children and their development.

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Deeply Personal and Inherently Social

Deeply Personal and Inherently Social

Applied knowledge is the act of learning through hands-on experiences. It is a concept that takes education out from behind the desk creating classroom communities of practice. In communities of practice, individual and shared meaning moves beyond the school into community and society.

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Preparing for Children

Preparing for Children

Each day in the life of an educator is a day of preparation. The day offers us the opportunity to prepare and create environments for children to explore their wonderings. Our actions with children have more impact than any learning environment we create.

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When Enough is Enough

When Enough is Enough

Many programs place an emphasis on the material things in the classroom, instead of the experiences that are available to the children. Posters clutter the walls, and rooms are painted vivid primary colors. Shelves are full of materials, so many materials, that most of the materials are not utilized or cared for

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Seeing Too Much is Seeing Nothing

Seeing Too Much is Seeing Nothing

Scrolling through the Internet there are many beautiful photos of children’s environments. The photos are often an inspiration to what we can achieve in our own programs. What makes an environment attractive to educators? What type of environment is appealing to children?

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