Recently, I have begun working more closely with Kim Atkinson; a fellow Early Childhood Educator as well as a mentor of mine. We have taken on a few projects together, two of them working as presenters at conferences here in Victoria and Vancouver, and the third as writers.....putting together our thoughts and opinions into an article.
Since 2013, I have been a part of the Community Early Learning and Child Care Facilitators Project: Building Communities of Research and Leadership.
This has allowed me to continue my research as an educator while also leading my staff towards a higher level of thinking.... taking risk, engaging in dialogue and challenging their pedagogy.
Kim explains the project as so:
"This project builds on the foundation of the Investigating Quality and early Learning Framework Implementation Projects. The purpose of the project is to promote the active engagement of early learning and child care practitioners in discussions and actions that can lead to the formation of sustainable and positive care -giving environments. The project aims to create a community of practice by engaging practitioners in collaboratively reflecting upon their knowledge, values, experiences and practices, and exploring the meanings and practices of quality care that will best serve the well being and development of children from diverse backgrounds and settings in British Columbia."
As a pedagogical facilitator and a director of a childcare program we have collaborated for over three years. Together with educators in the childcare program we work with the processes of pedagogical narrations to explore new perspectives on quality through critically engaging with different theoretical lenses to challenge the "truths" of early childhood pedagogies. In our presentations, we share how educators in the program are embracing these processes to develop a culture of research, pedagogical leadership and enhanced professional identity to shift understandings of the image of the child, the image of the educator and to re conceptualize quality in the field of early childhood.
Although complex and honestly a bit uncomfortable at times, I am finding comfort in this new role and facing my questions head on. I realized a long time ago that my way of teaching, and my beliefs in my practice were a little more (natural and organic) then what the (norm) was offering.
Having a beautiful childcare facility in the forest, and having amazing educators that also ask questions and challenge theories helps me realize that there is so much more to learn!
As The famous childcare professional and advocate for children;Loris Malaguzzi stated,
"We are all researchers, we are all learning people!"
As always, this will continue..... thank you for reading.