Lauren Robinson, a Boulder Journey School Teacher Education Program graduate and current Boulder Journey School Mentor Teacher, shared her reflections after revisiting Carlina Rinaldi’s “The Pedagogy of Listening: The Listening Perspective from Reggio Emilia.” Lauren connected her reflections to a visual mini-story she created for the course A Colorado Interpretation of the Reggio Approach, one of the courses she took while completing her Residency MA in Early Childhood Education.
Lauren Robinson: It was really helpful to have my mini-story in mind while reading through Rinaldi’s “The Pedagogy of Listening.” I was able to refresh my knowledge on what listening truly means, and relate it back to the experience that I captured and analyzed for my mini-story. Specifically, a couple of Rinaldi’s ‘meanings of listening’ that were listed really resonated with me. The first one that stood out to me was “Listening is generated by curiosity, desire, doubt, and uncertainty.” I feel like as adults, things like doubt and uncertainty are feared. But when we get in tune with children and ask questions about what they’re thinking and feeling, we are able to embrace things like doubt and uncertainty, because they motivate the researcher in us. This is closely related to the second ‘meaning of listening’ statement that resonated with me, which was “Listening produces questions, not answers.” Seeking answers to questions is natural, but again, as adults we tend to value the answers more than the questions, when they can equally tell us just as much about whatever experience we’re having. This statement also really embodies the idea that process is just as (or more!) important as product, like how having questions is just as important as having answers.
When I read this article at the beginning of the year, it felt much harder to comprehend then it does now. I definitely attribute that to the quality time that I have gotten to spend with the children and in the classroom. I have been learning so much about being present with children, truly listening to them, and honoring whatever it is they are trying to tell us. My definition of a teacher has expanded so immensely in these past few months, and in turn my confidence in my capabilities as a teacher and my role in these children’s lives has increased!
View Lauren’s visual mini-story below. You may notice Lauren uses the language of photography to listen to this moment of connection between children.
What do the photographs tell you about the teacher’s capacity to deeply listen? What do the photographs say about children’s capacity(ies) to listen and connect? What does Lauren’s visual mini-story tell you about the teacher’s choice to document in this moment? Please leave your comments below.