From Tennessee to Shangri-la

My uncle recently returned to the United States from China to visit my family.  His jet-lag and our early morning schedule led to quite a few discussions over 5:00 am coffee.  During one such conversation, he mentioned that he had recently been appointed the Program Director of a brand new conservation center in Shangri-la, Tibet.... Continue Reading →

The Hundred Languages of Pedagogy

I was surprised to find that one of my articles, The Paradox of Pedagogical Documentation, was recently translated into Italian.  A group of nature educators plan to use it as a point of discussion for an upcoming training seminar.  Reading excerpts of my blog in translation was both exciting and a little strange.  I was... Continue Reading →

A.C.E. and The Right to Learn

It is common practice for many private kindergartens to interview children as part of their admission process.  While part of the focus of these interviews is to evaluate the academic acumen of the applicant, many interviewers also subject children to a variety of situations designed to test their ability to handle stress, regulate their emotions,... Continue Reading →

In Pursuit of a Strenuous Life

On April 10th, 1899, Theodore Roosevelt Jr. gave a speech in which he reflected upon what he believed to be the ideal American lifestyle: "I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest... Continue Reading →

The Paradox of Pedagogical Documentation

Documentation is the life-blood of our experience as educators working in the Reggio Way.  It is how we show students not just that we are watching what they do, but listening to what they say and how they feel.  By documenting, we provide parents an insight into the everyday challenges and victories that make up... Continue Reading →

Wood Have, Could Have, Should Have.

"So they just play all day?" Every educator working in a play-based student directed environment has heard a potential parent speak these words during a tour.  With the current educational status quo, concerns about school readiness are cropping up earlier and earlier in children's lives.  Some private kindergartens in our nation require five year-olds to... Continue Reading →

Reggio, the Dollar Store, and Transformative Parts

As an educator working in a Reggio-inspired school, loose parts come up in conversation at least once per day.  I have attended training sessions on loose parts and their importance to the Reggio Way on at least five different occasions.  As a semi-compulsive teacher working in a student guided, play-based learning environment, I feel from... Continue Reading →

Re: Forest Bathing

When concepts cross cultural boundaries, they rarely survive intact. In 1892, Swami Vivekananda introduced a form of physical, mental, and spiritual exercise called "yoga" in the United States.  Needless to say, the hot yoga, restorative yoga, and yin yoga practiced by an estimated 36.7 million people in the US are entirely different than what Vivekananda practiced in the... Continue Reading →

Booming City, Tiny Baby, Broken Heart.

My wife and I both work in childcare.  She teaches in a Reggio-inspired infant program, and I teach in a Reggio-inspired outdoor preschool.  We met in high school and dated for ten years (two of which were from opposite sides of the world).  A few years ago, we moved to Nashville as boyfriend and girlfriend, and... Continue Reading →

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