I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear.
“We know that children in our care and in our classes are surrounded by cameras and technology with screens in their everyday life. We know they are very interested in technology, but they may not be explicitly taught how to use it appropriately or with purpose,” writes Jill M. Anderson in an article that forms the basis for an Exchange Reflections, “Photography as a Curriculum Tool in Nature.”
She goes on to say: “We know that children are highly motivated when they are given the opportunity to follow their own interests. We know that children thrive in an outdoor learning environment. We know that children are incredibly curious about living and non-living things in the natural world. We know that the most powerful documentation of learning occurs when children are included, and better yet, when it is child-led.”
Anderson encourages early educators to consider ways to allow children to document their learning with nature by using cell phone photography or other types of cameras:
“The children will learn that photographs capture a brief moment in time that may look very different each day they return to the same spot. The children will learn about others’ perspectives as they view and discuss peers’ and adults’ photos. The children will learn more about themselves, as they choose what to photograph and explain their choices and preferences. The children will learn to be confident in their own opinions as they share their art and documentation. The children will learn how to reflect on discoveries about themselves and their discoveries in nature.”
This new Exchange Reflections is designed for supporting group discussion and learning, or it may be used individually for personal reflection. A variety of ideas and action steps are offered to help educators find meaningful ways to use photography as a valuable curriculum tool.
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Exchange Reflections are designed to help a team of people meet in-person or live online to think deeply together about a topic using an article from Exchange magazine as a guide. Included are discussion questions to help guide reflections, as well as a Making Commitments idea sheet to help prompt ideas into action. For your convenience, Exchange Reflections are available in PDF format and you can download immediately on your desktop.
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