Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

Through the looking glass


Tuesday 23 October 2018

Take a moment, look out the window. What do you see? The trees are filled with autumn colours to warm your heart. Bursting with a rainbow of amber, gold, red and green. The rain drops are falling from the sky to glisten the grass with a glossy coat of moisture. The light begins to break, moving from the darkness into a hazy light. Children are arriving, dropping their coats and bags as they run in the door. People of all ages are passing by the window, some are on their daily walk to school, while others are in cars, or sitting on the top deck of the bus. At the same time the community is waking, with bin lorries, post vans, and milk drop offs happening. Spiders are building webs in the corner of the window, birds are flying past and dogs are on their morning walk. When you look out your window what do you see?

At this time of the year, many children are arriving in the dark mornings, and possibly leaving when the darkness has fallen again. When the child looks out the window what do they see? With many cultural celebrations such as Halloween and Christmas coming upon us, for many children, they are beginning to see paintwork of skeletons, pumpkins, Santa Claus or snowmen. Figures and symbols which are often not meaningful for the child. Painted by the adult, covering the full length of the window – corner to corner the glass is smeared with black, white and red paint. Outwards facing artwork which looks ‘nice’ for people arriving to the setting.

But what about for the child? The window of possibilities has been removed. The natural colours of the trees, people and community cannot be observed. The intrigued child in your room can no longer watch the post arrive at the door. The curious child can no longer see the spider in the corner of the window. And the unsettled child can no longer see their parent arriving to collect them.

As the adult, we often take what we know for granted. We place an assumption of ‘they see that at home’, ‘sure it is only the bin-lorry’ or ‘it is raining – what is there to see?’. Aistear (2009) views the child as the competent and confident learner. A curious child who is engaged in their surrounding environment. A child with rights. A right to have a voice, to have a choice and the right to play. However, where are the child’s rights in a darkened room filled with artificial light and surrounded by adult artwork?

Girl looking out the window - Through the looking glass

Take a moment and consider what it is the child would see from the window when they look out. Think about the change between the darkness in morning, and the light breaking at 7.30-8am. Children begin to create an understanding of cause and effect. What causes it to be dark? What causes the darkness to go away? Through this, they can begin to understand sequence, and logic. The logic of when the sun comes out, the darkness goes away, and vice-versa. Pre-numeracy skills, new words and new understandings of the world around them are evolving. Supporting a sense of exploring and thinking through developing new ideas and theories. And a sense of identity and belonging in the community which surrounds them. As professionals, we intentionally create learning opportunities for children. We sing songs, recite rhymes, and provide open-ended materials. We encourage questions, and scaffold children’s understandings. While at the same time, we are removing learning opportunities which naturally surround the child.

For many children, if they are with you for 8-9-10 hours of a day, these learning opportunities may not be accessible when they leave in the evening, or at the weekends. At the weekend or in the evening, many of these routines within the community are on hold until Monday from 9 until 5. What is it we can do? Consider why artwork is needed on the glass, and who is it there for? Asking the question, is it for you, the adult, or is it for the child?

Look out the window and see what you can see. And then, get to the child’s eye level, look out the window and see what you can see. Hopefully, you will see colours, textures, light and a community of wonder passing by. Using the child’s lens, you will see endless learning opportunities, questions and happenings on the other side of the glass.

0 comments Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

Wilenski(1) Frustrations(1) Winter(1) Pen green(1) Blocks(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) planning(1) Capable(1) outdoor play(6) trust(2) Childhood(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) Rituals(1) Workforce(1) Touch(1) NAEYC(1) Challenges(1) Role play(1) Dance(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) Gardening(1) Together Old and Young Programme(1) Wesco(1) Magda Gerber(1) Sustainability(3) Smiles(1) Creative(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Motor neuron disease(1) Communicating(1) Playschool(1) parents(5) experience(1) Eritrea(1) Wendy Lee(2) Orla Kenny(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) educarer(1) Arts(1) Flowers(1) risky play(2) Prexit(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) Care routines(1) Family(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(1) communication(4) Decision Making(1) Shapes(1) Scents(1) Pobal sector profile(1) Party(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Through the looking glass(1) ECEC(1) Fabric(1) Learning Stories(7) Kerry(1) EM Standing(1) educating(1) Valentine's Day(3) Trade union(1) Belonging(3) Universal Design(2) AsIAm(1) Favouritism(1) risk assessment(1) Stress(2) Vietnam(1) Sequins(1) listen(1) Scéalta Blog(75) memories(1) Kids Own(1) Music(3) CPD(1) Facebook(1) Professionalisation(4) Iraq(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Names(1) Art(6) Builders(1) development(7) Thank you(1) UNCRC(1) Awards(2) Aistear(100) friendships(1) Meet the Members(1) NCCA(2) Síolta(95) Early Years Educators(1) Twitter(1) mushrooms(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) Arithmetic(1) Inter-generational(1) Patterns(1) Learning Story(1) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Celebrate(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) early years research(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) PIP(1) Appreciation(1) Self-Esteem(1) ReCreate(2) Awards 2019(1) Time Out(1) Grief(1) Quality(3) First 5(1) Learning journals(1) Educators(1) Inclusion(3) Margy Whalley(1) Children(1) meals(3) Workplace well-being(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(1) Playdough(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) Trade Unions(1) Craft(1) pets(1) Positivity(1) Giraffe(2) General Data Protection Regulation(1) budget(1) conversations(1) Cognitive development(1) feisty(1) Photographs(1) Advocacy(1) Norway(2) Drawing(2) Community involvement(1) The Lullaby Book(1) Identity(4) Investment(1) routine(2) Gratitude(1) Little Buddies(1) story time(1) Upcycling(1) bonds(1) Technology(2) Sculptures(1) Reggio Children Network(1) relationships(11) Change(1) linc(1) eating(1) CIT(1) Storytelling(2) Engineering Ireland(1) Autism(3) documentation(2) MECPI(1) Mark Twain(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) Adoption(1) Running(1) Mixed age groups(2) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) INTO(1) Syria(1) Buddy Bench(1) Italy(1) Painting(1) Impact(1) Treasure Chest(1) Consent(1) stories(2) Creativity(4) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) overhear(1) Inspired Practice Award(5) christmas(8) ICBN(1) Inter-generational learning(1) Exploring(1) listening(1) Socioemotional development(1) Tuscan Approach(2) Policy(2) Early Learning and Care(1) Mayo(1) Sport(1) College(1) Albert Einstein(1) dining experiences(1) research(5) preschool(2) ears(1) Design(1) transitions(9) Decisions(1) Health(1) Mantra(1) Interactions(1) Sociodramatic play(1) emotions(2) Potential(1) Performance Management(1) Empathy(1) Funding(1) Obesity(1) Exercise(1) San Minia(1) emotional environment(1) Plants(1) outdoor space(3) Children's Rights(1) Mo Scéal(1) Learning Stories Award(3) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Leargas(1) Snakes(1) Afghanistan(1) TOY Programme(1) Nuturing interactions(1) IGL(1) Mud kitchens(1) UN(1) Traffic Lights(1) Maynooth(1) interacting(2) Maynooth University(1) Self-regulation(1) Nutrition(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) Wonder(1) Training(2) Mount Everest(1) Family wall(1) Montessori(2) MA(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Feeding(1) Early Years(1) Pobal(1) Care-giving routines(1) United Nations(1) Shoes(1) social media(1) Research Seminar(1) Arlene Forster(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Workplace Relations(3) Mathematicians(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(1) Visual Impairment(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Engineering(2) Spiders(1) Graduate(1) Qualifications(1) EECERA 2016(1) Behaviour(3) The Jelly King(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) Maternity Leave(1) Affordability(1) Games(1) Limerick(1) Well-Being(6) Teamwork(1) Budget 2019(2) Environment(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) Mealtimes(1) San Miniato(4) Learning Story Awards(1) STEM(2) Window(1) curriculum(5) Laugh(1) Budget 2018(1) Magnavacchi(1) Event Guide(1) Map(1) Treasure(1) Routines(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) Research Conference 2019(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(1) Administrative Burden(1) Síolta QAP(1) Childcare(2) National Awards 2018(2) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) Certificate(1) Sweets(1) Time(1) Imagination(3) environments(1) Masterclass(2) Ariana Pucci(1) Kilkenny(1) Biting(1) refugees(1) Interests(1) Lego(2) respect(4) Laughter(1) Story(1) AIM(2) Visitors(1) Plastic(1) Our Little Seed(1) RIE philosphy(1) Cork(1) curiosity(3) Fantasy play(1) National Pyjama Day(1) Vertical grouping(1) Line-ups(1) learning(14) Wrapping paper(1) dublin(2) Breathing(2) Love(2) Meal time(1) Brain(1) Children's Research Network(1) Oireachtas(1) Maths Week(1) Titles(1) Queues(1) Primary School(2) Identity and Belonging(3) early childhood educator(1) University(1) Exclusion(1) Weather(1) Diversity(1) Settling in(1) Sustainable(1) Relaxation(1) risk(2) Growing up Outdoors(1) Jenga(1) Graduation(1) Employee(1) Competent(1) Nonverbal(1) education(2) Irish(1) DCYA(4) GDPR(1) Engineers Week(2) UD(1) journey(1) Trigonometry(1) community(4) Thinking(1) science(3) Christmas Creativity(2) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) First 5 strategy(1) Loss(1) Reggio Emilia(1) play stories(1) Communications(1) Anxiety(2) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) Trick or treat(1) Supernanny(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Reggio(1) blog(28) Awards 2018(3) Santa(2) outdoors(3) books(4) Japan(1) under 3's(3) Maths(4) Halloween(2) scéalta(25) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Independence(1) Siolta blog(2) Snack Time(1) SPICE Framework(1) Bereavement(1) worries(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) Traditions(2) role playing(1) Inspirational(2) Thanks(1) Academics(1) Mindfulness(2) Mental Health(3) Online(1) Snacks(1) Maria Montessori(1) baby room(1) Buddies(1) dining(1) babies(5) Child mental health(1) Easter(1) food(1) Death(1) Performing(1) Recycle(1) Leprechauns(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Book Club(2) National Holiday(1) Malaguzzi(1) supportive environments(1) Celebrations(4) maternity health(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) Confident(1) Xbox(1) Recycling(2) National Awards 2019(1) Degree(1) Glitter(2) ERASMUS+(3) Seas Suas(1) Light table(1) reading(4) animals(2) Magic(1) Culture(2) Yoga(1) Home Corner(1) toddlers(3) Exit interview(1) Penguins(1) grandchild(1) science week(2) dogs(1) Ceremony(1) play(28) Maths Week Ireland(1) Self Help Skills(1) ECCE(6)


Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine