| The Hundred Languages |
This is a part of Loris Malaguzzi’s “The Hundred Languages of Children” poem. Every time I come across the poem I do stop and read it and reflect on it again and again.
The infinite ways children can express themselves and to create. The many ways to go about finding the answer. The endless solutions to solve a problem.
I remember visiting a reggio toddler class, and the kids were learning about movement. I asked the teacher “How do you know they can understand such a difficult concept? I have 2 year-olds who can’t speak!”
And her reply was “There are a hundred ways. Speaking and writing is just that few.” She showed me their mark-makings, dough creations, sculpturing of figures and many photographs. These were documented in stories after stories. The children weren’t bound by specific things they needed to do to learn and showcase their knowledge. The kids’ creations and photographs come alive because of the teacher’s stories and description and so much learning is taking place.
Without the adult’s observations and documentations, most people might them as “mindless play and scribbles”. Math skills, logical thinking, language etc, all woven into their project and these toddlers probably know more about movement than I will ever learned.
So do you want to bring out the hundreds in your child, or to just focus on two or three? Find that hundreds the next time you observe your child’s play.
And to the teachers, don’t ever underestimate how powerful documentations can be to show the process of the children’s thinking and learning.
22 Sin Ming Lane #06-76 Midview City Singapore 573969