Thanks to Jason Fay at the St Paul Lutheran School for sharing the speech by Loris Malaguzzi about the Image of the Child.
The reading is a strong provocation to us regardless of where we stand pedagogically. Sections like this below, cut to the deepest part of our commitment to children.
We don’t want to teach children something that they can learn by themselves. We don’t want to give them thoughts that they can come up with by themselves. What we want to do is activate within children the desire and will and great pleasure that comes from being the authors of their own learning.
The prominence of observation, in the speech, really resonates with me. In part, because of my continuous work on being as present and “fully involved” as I can. Also, from my fascination with the question: how do I know learning is taking place?
What the child doesn’t want is an observation from the adult who isn’t really there, who is distracted. The child wants to know that she is observed, carefully, with full attention. The child wants to be observed in action.
Observation is mindful noticing. We notice a much richer set of signals - we don’t just see. These signals in turn might connect together to help us understand the child at a much deeper level, than just what is on the surface.
A very accessible translation of the speech, that I highly recommend. What image of the child do you have?