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Building Relationships Through Exchange

by Angi Primavera and Ellen Hall
July/August 2011
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/building-relationships-through-exchange/5020080/

From the moment of birth, children form and develop relationships with others in their world based on exchange:

Imagine an infant's engaging gaze, mirroring the loving gaze of her mother.
Imagine a toddler offering his father a bite of his bagel, and the father accepting this gift.
A preschooler paints her first picture "for Mommy," anticipating her reaction to this heartfelt offering.

Children recognize that engaging in such encounters offers them the opportunity to enter into a relationship with another individual and to nurture that relationship through the exchange of messages and gifts, items and ideas.

At Boulder Journey School, we have observed and documented the process of exchange from the children's perspective. Located in Boulder, Colorado, Boulder Journey School is a full-day, year-round school that welcomes over 200 children, ages six weeks to six years, and their families. Since 1995, educators at the school have studied the philosophy and pedagogy of the municipal infant/toddler centers and preschools in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Inspired by the schools in Reggio Emilia, our school community is dedicated to a culture based on an image of children as curious, competent, and capable of co-constructing knowledge. We are committed to not only hearing the ...

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