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Collaborating with Young Children

Learning and teaching should not stand on opposite banks and just watch the river flow by; instead, they should embark together on a journey down the water. Through an active, reciprocal exchange, teaching can strengthen learning how to learn.
Loris Malaguzzi

Our latest Exchange Reflections on "Collaborating with Young Children," invites you to explore "a willing embrace of the unexpected, to negotiate when to lead and when to follow, whether to hold back or to provoke." In the article for this Exchange Reflections, Margie Carter and Bethica Quinn reflect on a hands-on book-making project with children in Quinn’s preschool classroom. In doing so, they bring to life what it means to truly engage young children’s ideas and what can unfold when we do.

Quinn states, "At the heart of our work is a commitment to collaboration between children and adults. We call this process co-construction, and when we do it well, adults and children bring different and complementary strengths to the table to create something that neither adults nor children could have created alone."  She goes on to say, "Each time we enter the ‘thicket’ of collaboration with children—each time we engage in our reflective process in order to decide what questions to ask, what structure to provide, and what resources to offer—we get a little better at navigating this thicket. We get a little better at working in partnership with children to support their learning."

This Exchange Reflections will inspire your group to explore the practical and philosophical underpinnings of co-construction and "get a little better at" implementing it.

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