January 14, 2010

in Development

I read and read, and every once in a while, I come across something that resonates deeply and I feel is worth passing on. The following is a quote about learning written by Dawna Markova:

Learning is so much more than a transfer of information. It can mean wholeness, empowerment, actualization, liberation. Observe any young child anyplace in the world and you will find a seeker of excellence built into their DNA. They embody this inherent impulse in their rampant curiosity about themselves and their world, the way they naturally follow their interests and rhythms, seek out and risk experimentation, honor their dreams and daydreams, consider mistakes as information rather than something wrong. Children have taught me that learning is discovering something is possible.

The question for me as a caregiver and an advocate for children becomes “How do I allow, support, and protect the child’s natural ability to engage in her own learning in this deep way, and how do I support parents in being able to see the miracle of what their child is capable of from birth ? ”

I’ll tell you I earned a Master’s degree in Education, and worked with children for many years before being introduced to Magda Gerber and her RIE philosophy, which finally provided me a meaningful way to begin to answer this question. Magda’s philosophy is both simple and profound, and beautiful in that it allows parents and other adults who care for children a way to honor and nurture a child’s essence from the very beginning. I remain in awe and gratitude to this wise woman for her work with children and families, her teachings and insights, and her way of teaching…

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