Karyn Callaghan

Susan, you raise an important point for us to always hold as a question, namely what are we doing with the power we have, as adults with children, as professionals with families. What are the processes we use for making decisions? How do we ensure that we are not acting on subjective perceptions and assumptions? If our thinking and work are not public, this is a risk. If however we are dedicated to checking these perceptions and our meaning-making with the children and families and our colleagues in an iterative process of revisiting what we have documented, we are opening to a democratic process of negotiation and collaborative meaning-making. Yes, educators bear considerable responsibility for holding the threads of the weaving. It involves careful listening. It also involves ongoing dedication to building a group. Parents can also come to see their child as in the group, as contributing and benefiting from being with others, and children can come to see the gifts that each brings to the group. It is a different sensibility. And although teachers usually create documentation, it is a collaborative process intended to give visibility to children’s ways of being in the world and to support our own recognition of the contexts we are weaving together – something that is rare indeed.