The emergency exit to outdoor learning...
Definitely a 'why not' moment! I think that you're so right about having to know the children & the staff/child ratio, their age also comes into it here. Sadly in most settings where there isn't a good enough staff/child ratio this sort of thing can't be allowed or would be dangerous. I have also found the children need to 'see' why what they are doing may not actually be a good idea. How lucky this school is to have you working with them.
Juliet, I often see children try things that have unexpected outcomes. Those unexpected outcomes lead to more unpredictable explorations. Those unpredictable explorations are often where we find our limits---and our creativity. This was really a nice piece illustrating how you reflect on your practice in real time.
Thanks for both of your comments. Tom, your thoughts remind me of a quote by Mark Twain, "Why not go out on a limb? That's where the fruit is.” Very often we seek something at the edges or borders of the unacceptable or danger to reap the benefits of doing so. It's when we push or test boundaries that find out and discover things... hmm... an interesting perspective on behaviour!
Juliet- I appreciate your coverage on this event. Your thoroughness in description and photos really makes the scene and decision come alive. As a designer of children's spaces people are always saying, "but what if the children..." misuse/ abuse/ creatively use an item. I love to see the outcome from your perspective.Cheers,Michellehttp://thelearninglandscape.blogspot.com/
Hi Juliet, admire your perspicacity through experience and emotional sincerity 'in the now'. This aspect of edge puts me in mind of the same concept in relation to habitat diversity, where one meets another and there is an exchange that isn't found within either habitat and contains a greater enriching of species and activity. It's all connected. In permaculture, the greater the edge the more diversity, the healthier the 'system'. Thank you.
Hi MichelleYou are right - I think often we focus too much on the correct use of a resource but particularly with the children with whom I work, their perspective on what is an appropriate use of a resource differs very much from either a traditional use or adult expectation. Going with their flow seems to be more effective. Mick Mack - You raise a very thought-provoking point. I believe that it's at boundaries and edges that interesting things start to happen. In personal development terms they call this the stretch zone. But in all sorts of other places it is where there are tensions or gathering or actually where all the creativity really starts to happen. That's why risk taking matters - that's about pushing a boundary in someway. So I really appreciated your ecological interpretation too. Thanks.
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