My view on and approach to working with children is mainly determined by two pedagogical perspectives. Here you can read more about them.
THE PEDAGOGY OF REGGIO EMILIA
The pedagogy of Reggio Emilia is developed by Loris Malaguzzi. His says a child has a hundred languages, but school and society steal ninety-nine of them. This quote sums up the Reggio Emilia approach. With the hundred languages Loris refers to are the different ways children communicate and express themselves. They can express themselves with gestures, in drawings, in dance, in music, in drama, in clay, by writing and so on. In each of these languages a child can flourish. There are so many opportunities for children to communicate, while we are often used to looking at one the language.
The Reggio Emilia approach has three principles and is based on opportunities of what children can do and not on what they can’t. Practice show us that knowledge and skills are already present in children. Reggio Emilia would like children to playfully discovery this knowledge so they can emerge and develop in there own unique way.
The first principle of the aproach is about the organisation of space where children live and learn in at home, school or in the nursery. Children need to be challenged so they can explore and experiment. A good organised space challanges children to learn more and more of what they can do.
The second principle has to do with offered materials. This children should be able to explore and experiment. This allows a biology teacher for example to bring a snail or worm to the classroom. Let the children ask the questions about the worm or snail and let them answer it themself or have a class discussion about it. The children choose what the want to learn about the animal.
The third principle is related to the second one. Educaters look at the development of the children in a different way.. They listen to the childeren and let them choose and give direction in what and how the want to learn. They make reports and let the kids develop in there own direction. This creates and stimulates the childrens identity and creativity.
By working with above approach before the children go to (mainstream education) school gives them a solid foundation. It makes keeping up with the way of teaching and learning easier, because they have discovered how they learn best at a young age this makes them strongly motivated.
The Nine Types of Intelligence by Howard Gardner inspired me in my way of working. This method helps you to look with a wider perspective. It shows you that every child is smart in its own way. You can read more about this in my aproach.