Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Preschool Education...Italian Style

Howard Gardner has written a fascinating profile a preschool system in Italy. It reflects the type of intellectual freedom and intensity that I would love for my children:
"At Reggio, the curriculum emerges from the children's own interests. If, say, on the first day of school, children observe a rainbow and become curious about the array of colors, they might spend the next two or three months investigating the nature of light, color, and water, and how rainbows emerge and disappear."
This is in such sharp contrast to the way we look at education that we have a hard time envisioning how a similar system might work for older children, but it's a shame. Reading this account makes curriculum seem like tyranny. Thinking about it led me to this serious reading list from a society in India with a radical mission: "provoke, challenge and dismantle factory-schooling and construct and connect new open learning communities". Worthy goals, methinks.

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