Thursday, December 16, 2010

Doing It Our Way


This is very cool! Thank you for voting for my little labor of love!

For a full list of winner click here.

I am excited for myself, of course, it would be a lie to say otherwise, but I also am convinced that this kind of acknowledgment is really about all of our passion and commitment to early childhood education. Several of us ECE-types took home Edublog awards yesterday (Irresistible Ideas For Play Based Learning, Teach Preschool, PreKinders, to name a few). And I want to send a special shout out to Juliet over at I'm A Teacher, Get Me OUTSIDE Here! for rallying us for the cause.

I'd like to say our collective success is a commentary on the growing recognition of the importance of early childhood generally and inquiry-based, progressive education in general, but I really believe, for this go-around at least, it's more a testament to the strength of this online community of educators and parents we've built here during the past year or so. Something's happening. I can't wait to see what we can do if we keep at it for a few more years. 


I'm looking forward to a day when none of us need to defend the educational benefits of being outside, in the garden on a cold, wet day, using mortars and pestles to grind the herbs we snipped ourselves, mixing them with rainwater and smashed cranberries, and, for good measure, adding liquid watercolor with pipettes, all according to our own curiosities.


I'm looking forward to a day when everyone innately understands that we need to use our whole bodies to learn, that we need to get down on the floor, to lay our hands on our learning materials, to be able to figure out what we should do when my train meets your train and my ego meets your ego at the intersection of a figure 8, because that's the natural consequence of living in a world of other people.


I'm looking forward to a day when we all agree that it's unhealthy to cram our children full of letters, numbers, facts, and figures as if they are merely empty vessels that need to be filled, then tested for how well they conform to some arbitrary standard, before being shuttled off to the next place that will fill them up. I'm looking forward to when we no longer treat our children as products on a factory conveyor, being manufactured according to the specifications of industry who want to consume them as human resources.


I'm looking forward to a day when everyone understands that no one has ever educated another person, but rather that we all ultimately educate ourselves and sometimes that means choosing to carry an umbrella when it isn't raining, wearing safety glasses simply for the experience, and taking an art project designed by a teacher and doing it our way.

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12 comments:

Scott said...

Well said, Tom. And congratulations on the award! Thanks for inspiring new thoughts and ideas for my kids.

Juliet Robertson said...

Hear! Hear! Another good piece of commentary.

What makes your blog so unusual within the North American continent is that you DON'T harp on about letters, numbers, reading and writing. There are no worksheets to download or cutesy craft activities (with no disrespect to the ones that do). It's refreshing and an excellent ethos that needs to be more widely adopted.

In a society where teachers live in a culture of fear, examples of teachers like yourself who have decided to live and work in a culture of freedom need to be celebrated. So I'm just delighted that you won this award hands-down. Oh and hopefully a few more teachers will check out this blog. Hurray!

Oh yes...and I'm sure others have clamoured for your nomination too!

The Book Chook said...

I was thrilled to see your blog and Play-based on the award list. Congratulations! I am in whole-hearted agreement. To me it seems a no-brainer to use play as a way to learn - it's the way we do instinctively, I believe. However, politicians and bureaucrats seem much keener on quantifying everything. How can you put a score on love of reading?

Sherry and Donna said...

You're so right Tom, none of us are doing this on our own ... it really does take a village to raise a child, or in our case a whole blogging community to educate one!
You often hear acceptance speeches at award ceremonies where people thank multiples of others for getting them there ... well today I get it, it's true! Today we may be holding up the trophy but without the support of every single person who visits our blogs we wouldn't be here. These awards really are for everyone who shares our beliefs in early childhood education and to those people I say THANK YOU!
Donna :) :)

Randi said...

Brilliant as usual, congratulations! You deserve it.

Miss Amy said...

Congratulations!! Well deserved.

Plants seeds of knowledge...for our future! said...

I dream and look forward to this day too!!!!

MissBobbie said...

congratulations : )

Saya said...

This is just truly beautiful post.
I dream of that day, too...
Congrats!! :)

SquiggleMum said...

Congrats Tom. You had my vote from down under :-) Lovely post too. I'm looking forward to "that day" as well.

Jessica said...

You are my new hero. Beautiful words. Congratulations!

rachelle @ tinkerlab.com said...

Well said, Tom, and congratulations. Your site is a constant inspiration, and this is a well-deserved acknowledgment of your contributions to the field. You got my vote!

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