Learning from the ideas and imagination of children
THE concept that children are often more capable than they get credit for is one that's explored in an exhibition at Southern Cross University in Lismore.
The Hundred Languages of Children exhibition, which opens today , uses photographs, paintings, words, drawings and sculptures to show the many different ways children communicate.
Reggio Emilia Australia founder, Jan Millikan OAM, said the exhibition was about documenting and making children's learning visible.
"Because these young children are not yet able to write their ideas, even to form them into language initially, these other languages give them the possibility of showing how their thinking and they're learning," she said.
The term 'hundred languages of children' comes from a 1984 poem by Loris Malaguzzi.
In this poem Malaguzzi refers to the many ways of communicating by young children to make their thinking visible.
The Hundred Languages of Children is an international travelling exhibition that has been telling the story of the Italian-based Reggio Emilia educational experience to thousands of visitors for more than 25 years.
Reggio Emilia Northern Rivers Group convener Dr Wendy Boyd, who is also a senior lecturer in early childhood education at SCU, said the exhibition is a beautiful and intriguing display of children's theories. "For me, it's very beautiful because it really encapsulated and demonstrates what children are thinking and feeling," she said.
Dr Boyd said Reggio teachers provided children with different avenues for thinking, revisiting, constructing, negotiating, developing, provoking and symbolically expressing their thoughts and feelings so that their learning was made visible.
"We hope the exhibition will inspire our children to value their own 'hundred languages'," she said.
"We also hope that educators, artists and the community who visits this exhibition will value and engage with the 'hundred languages' we all share."
Languages of children exhibition
The opening will be held tonight, from 5-7pm. Bookings required. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Exhibition hours are:
Tuesday, June 10, to Friday, June 20. Weekdays only from 9am to 5pm.
Monday, June 23, to Friday, July 11. Weekdays from 9am to 9pm and weekends from 1-5pm.