I’m here to ask questions, of myself and of anybody reading. Any questions are fair game, but most of my questions here are about kids, families, education, and using inquiry and projects to dig deeper into the creativity and joy of all of the above.
The name is a combination of silly and serious – a lot like me. I originally wrote a family/education blog called Yo-Yo Reggio! from 2009 through 2011. I loved the process of exploring and then writing about Reggio-inspired philosophies, through the lens of my own growing family. As the kids got bigger, it felt like our projects were more project-based than Reggio-inspired, so we started a new blog in 2012 called The Family Lab for Inquiry and Play (Project FLIP). It was a great space to capture some of our adventures, but through all that time I kept thinking about the Yo-Yo Reggio space, and I wanted to figure out a way to revisit Reggio-inspired work, both in our home and through my work as an early education coordinator in a large, urban public school district.
The field of early learning in the United States is in a unique and exciting position. Areas of best practice that many practitioners felt were slipping away (play, choice, outdoor exploration, and a focus on social-emotional development, to name a few) are finding renewed support, because of extensive research on early brain development. As the general public becomes more aware of the needs of our youngest children, I’m optimistic that those best practices can be ‘pushed up’ to kindergarten, first grade, and beyond.
I was originally drawn to Reggio-inspired practices because of my own background in the visual arts, but I’ve learned over the past few years that the heart of Reggio-inspired education is based in community and collaboration. Loris Malaguzzi began his work by engaging in long-term conversations with the children and families he and his fellow educators served. Because of this, it makes sense that Reggio-inspired work in other countries cannot and will not look exactly like the work that happens in Reggio-Emilia, Italy. We can be inspired by the collaboration, the community-engagement, the beautiful environments, and the depth of knowledge of the educators, but the diverse conversations that occur in each of our own communities will result in unique interpretations.
I hope that this blog will be a place where kids, families, and educators can begin to engage in those conversations, that will push our imaginations, so that we’ll be able to envision and create deeper learning.