Can We Be Mindful of Dominant Discourses as We Plan Each Day for Children?

What do we choose to do within our programs on a daily basis? How are we guided in our choices of planning, our interactions with children? What influences our decisions?

Many of us are guided by curriculum, whether it is a school curriculum, a childcare program, a framework, a guideline. We are also, however, guided by the current philosophies and dominant discourses. How do these discourses influence our thinking and impact our practice? Are we mindfully aware of them? On the Canadian Study tour to Reggio Emilia 2018, Karyn Callaghan encouraged us to view the study tour as an act of resistance to the dominant discourses in education. Awareness is important.

Before adopting practices into our everyday interactions and choices we make for children, we need to ask ourself what assumptions underlie our decisions and why we are making the choices that we are making. Continue reading “Can We Be Mindful of Dominant Discourses as We Plan Each Day for Children?”


How do we allow for the joy of ‘dizzy play’ in our programs and why should we?

Those of us who spend our days in the company of young children need not search far for understanding of this term. Whether you laugh along with it or whether it makes you leave the room for a break, we all know it. There is nothing quite as joyful as the silly, laughing, tumbling energy of young children and, as with anywhere else, in a classroom, it spreads. One child begins and before long the entire group is rolling around, tumbling or even doing cartwheels, all in full laughter and trying to get them back attentive and calm is a task only befitting the bravest of souls.

The early learning frameworks of two provinces in Canada that I was reading recently qualify this type of play with a name: Dizzy Play.

“Children’s play sometimes erupts suddenly in loud, boisterous, physical bursts. This kind of play is exhilarating and infectious, creating communities through shared laughter. Children love to twirl until they are too dizzy to stand up, laugh with others over nothing in particular, babble nonsense words in a riotous conversation, put their pants on their head or their jacket on their legs and perform for their friends. They revel in their power to turn the world upside down, playfully confident that they can restore it.”

Early Learning and Child Care: English Curriculum Framework for New Brunswick, 2007, p.29 .

Continue reading “How do we allow for the joy of ‘dizzy play’ in our programs and why should we?”

How Can We Value the Storytelling Lives of Developing Authors – Part 2

Vivian Gussin Paley offers us another way to value the storytelling lives of children – by honouring the stories they create in their play.

Young children are continually creating pretend stories. What Paley promotes is the value of honouring those stories. These stories of play are literacy at it’s finest – authors building on what they know to create and develop stories and plots, adding imagination and creativity and emotion, developing roles and creating sets and props.

Continue reading “How Can We Value the Storytelling Lives of Developing Authors – Part 2”