A Busy Studio & The Power of Observation

Today, children from the Gilliate building visited their studio. The space felt alive, with children exploring all areas of the room. The teachers were sure to observe each child as they worked with different provocations throughout the space. This gave us all an opportunity to watch and learn about particular interests of the children. It is awesome to see the intrigue that new explorations and spaces bring about. You listen to the chatter as they move freely throughout the studio. You recognize the social development as they interact with one another. We observe them having talks in passing, negotiating materials, working together toward common (or uncommon) goals, and figuring out how to negotiate space with both their peers and themselves.


While watching the teachers observe, there was a pondering about observation in general, the ways we document, and how these experiences can translate to everyday learning. I have sometimes caught myself dictating too much of a conversation, asking questions about what I deem appropriate for them to know. In actuality, the children will gain much more when we let them bring their questions to us! When I allow this to happen, the direction in which projects/investigations will go is often gifted to me. This makes planning for what comes next both authentic and much simpler as you have listened, and know where the kiddos would like to take things next. In looking through the book In the Spirit of the Studio, I read one portion of an excerpt that I thought helped to describe these processes and their purpose!...


“My great dream is the extraordinary adventure of understanding, of documenting, the microprocesses of learning. I intend to document them live and then to interpret them and discuss them with others. The final product will not be abandoned, but each child and teacher will be given a way to reflect on the processes of understanding.” – Vea Vecchi, from In the Spirit of the Studio by Lella Gandini


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