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A Floating Classroom

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Katie Stafford, a teacher on Africa Mercy ship, shares a glimpse of her experience in a floating school. Katie answered these questions from aboard the ship, now docked in Madagascar. What pulled you to serve as a teacher in such an unusual, mobile loca­tion? Well, I have always had the travel adventure bug. I wanted to see the world . It’s also…

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Book review Environments

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Caring Spaces, Learning Places: Children’s environments that work  by Jim Greenman Greenman devoted his life’s work to studying, understand­ing, and constructing environments for young children. He published articles and smaller works over the years but this text is a crowning compendium of his findings and passion. Though as lengthy as a textbook, it reads conversationally. Components of nurturing environments are carefully developed,…

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Creativity book reviews

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Nurturing creativity Rebecca Isbell and Sonia Akiko  Yoshizawa (20:1.6), National Association for the Education of Young Children ( NAEYC) The NAEYC offers us a well organised and, at a basic level, comprehensive account of creativity in young child’s learning. The book is generously illustrated with photographs, diagrams and lists, and stories from nurseries. The chapters are concluded with questions to…

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Resource Review – story telling

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The Boy who would be a Helicopter Vivian Gussin Paley (1991) Harvard University Press This has become the classic text on storying. It is as if Vivian Gussin Paley invented storying. She is to storying what Caroline Pratt is to unit blocks and Elinor Goldschmied to treasure baskets. These ladies were not strictly speaking inventors but discoverers. They discovered for…

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A Suitcase for Stories

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A few years ago, I read “The Boy who Would Be a Helicopter” by Vivien Gussin Paley. This was her description of her work in Chicago around storytelling and story-acting. She describes how she worked with children to “scribe” their stories, recording them word-for-word as told by the children. The story was then acted out by the child and friends…

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Case Study: Twos and Involvement

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The responses of two-year-olds starting at nursery may be very different. The unfamiliarity of the setting will evoke a wide range of behaviours. Some, being overwhelmed, may simply ‘go into their shell’; some are distressed by the moment of separation from mums; others are attracted by everything in turn as it comes to their attention and they flit from one activity or centre to another. The toddler, who…

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