Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Literacy and Self Organized Learning

"I can do it"
As a teacher working alongside young children I hear those four words often, as well as, "Angelina can you help me?"
Both are true.

Children are incredibly capable and also need adult encouragement, support and scaffolding.  As an educator I've come to appreciate the paradoxes inherent in human development.  Autonomy and Collaboration/  Independence and Interdependence/ "I can do it myself" and "I need help".  These apparent opposites are mutually true.

Several years ago I heard Sugata Mitra speak (Click here to listen to his TedTalk) and was captivated by the notion of self organized learning.  I am also deeply inspired by social constructivism (click here to learn more) and how it relates to human growth and learning.

Children are able to construct their own learning from a dynamic environment and to do so both collaboratively and independently.  This being the case, I was interested in how the children might interact with the Montessori language materials  in an open ended, social environment.  And so this week,  I stocked the shelves with materials and waited to see where it might take us.

I've never had a more enthusiastic response from the children to any provocation I have ever put out. They quickly began using the materials in creative and collaborative ways.  Here are a few of the highlights:

Stay tuned to find out what comes next...