Wednesday, September 8, 2010

great article on neurodiversity

What am I more excited about: this article, or the existence of this magazine? And how did I not hear of Ode Magazine before? Good reading. Have a look.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Child Cannot Wait

“Many things we need can wait. The child cannot. Now is the time his bones are being formed, her blood is being constituted, his brain is being developed. To her we cannot say tomorrow. His name is today."

- Gabriela Mistral, Chilean poet, stateswoman, and teacher. She was the first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1945.

Many thanks to the Minds on Music Blog, by Kindermusik International, for this and many other inspirations.

Friday, September 3, 2010


I loved this animated talk, and I wanted to share it. It's only 10 minutes long, and every minute is compelling. I love how the study of child development is an important part of the conversation here.
Jeremy Rifkin on "the empathic civilization" Video on

This also puts me in mind of the Roots of Empathy curriculum, a Canadian program that I came across a couple of years ago. Very exciting ideas.

I'm also reminded of the work of Kenneth Dodge, a psychologist and researcher at Duke University who is interested in (among other things) studying children with aggressive and violent behavior. He and his fellow researchers are finding out that these children (and adults) haven't built the skills of reading another person's facial expressions and body language, and therefore are less able to empathize with the other person's feelings. Since they are unable to decode the others' cues, they tend to assume the worst and then act out. One of the things they are doing is breaking down the complex process of reading the cues of others, and then teaching these children how to do it, one step at a time.

There is very good work going on out there.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Your ideal classroom

A little later this semester, I will have the chance to design my "ideal early childhood classroom." In this assignment, money and existing buildings will be no object. I can dream big! Ahh, doesn't that sound lovely.

What is the design feature/area/organization technique that you wouldn't live without?

What is the one element that isn't in your environment, but you pine for it?

What websites or books are your favorite sources for ideas on classroom design?

Thanks, friends. I have seen many versions of ideal classrooms in your education blogs, so I know you have been exploring this.