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Posing Important Questions

The next few blogs will focus on topics Loris Malaguzzi presents in the article "Your Image of the Child: Where Teaching Begins". Loris Malaguzzi is the founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach, an approach many feel to be the gold standard of early education. Newhsweek refers to it as the best. early childhood model in the world. His book The Hundred Languages of Children and many of his writings have inspired and influenced my own philosophy of education.

Questions. Questions. As a child I had so many questions. I was always wondering. Being shy, awkward and an introvert often meant my questions went unanswered. In the 4th grade we had a guest speaker come talk to us about bridges. A few of us were discussing this with our teacher out on the playground. The other two left and I stepped up to ask my teacher, “How do they get the poles or the pillars into the ground under the water to make the bridge?” She tilted her head, smiled, and replied, “That is an excellent question for our guest speaker. Ask him when he comes.” I never did find out the answer. It took all my energy to ask my teacher on the playground. When it was time to ask questions to our guest speaker, I could not muster the courage to raise my hand before the question time was over.

Some studies show 4-year-old children ask as many as 200 to 400 questions a day. It can seem exhausting but inquiring minds want to know! Asking questions sets the stage for creating an environment where students and teachers become co-researchers.

Loris Malaguzzi states, “Each one of you has inside yourself an image of the child.

This theory within you pushes you to behave in certain ways. It orients you as you talk to the child, listen to the child, observe the child.” Asking questions in class or asking for help in general was difficult for me most of my life. The image I had of myself as a learner prevented me from risking asking a question. Thankfully I found a close-knit community where I could ask questions that helped me to be able to take risks, and encouraged me to be a lifelong learner. The posing of important questions is instrumental in the Compass Classroom’s image of the child and in creating a community of lifelong learners. As my students wonder why it is spring and it's still snowing, I wonder how our classroom environment is meeting the needs of all our students. When I wonder about nature during our morning meetings our students feel free to wonder and ask questions as well. When I ask them how we should solve a problem in the classroom they feel free to answer because they feel heard. We have given each other the right to be authentically ourselves and we know without a doubt we are learning!

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Apr 05, 2022

This is just what I needed to be reminded of as I await the arrival of my 4 year old inquisitive grandson who will spend his days exploring the sea shore and..... asking 200-400 questions.

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