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    What has influenced the kinds of relationships you have had with children, families, colleagues, and the context you are weaving?

    Are there any threads you would like to unravel?

    Any you would like to add or change?

    In the article, My Nose is as Full as a World: Exploring the Smells of the City by Daniela Lanzi and Mirca Neroni, what struck you about the context of relationship these educators weave?

    What does it do to your thinking if we consider that our practices are structured on an ecology of relationships that include
    time and materials?

    Susan Ramsay

    ‘My Nose is as Full as a World: Exploring the Smells’ is inspiring in so many ways – from the generation of the children’s idea ‘seeds’ to the exploration of how children test their ideas and grow a communal understanding based on their individual perspectives and prior knowledge of things and creatures and relationships.

    I imagine these thinking and experiential threads as colourful and textured. The threads include each child’s perspective and interest, each educator’s attentiveness and subjective interpretation, and each parent’s and family’s questions, comments, and smiles of appreciation. Even the cityscape offers up threads of unspoken inspiration and feedback. I picture documentation as the loom on which all these beautiful and tangled threads are supported and held up. The loom lets us see and consider which colours and textures will be woven next – horizontally, vertically and diagonally.

    All of these threads and the loom in this article are extraordinary to me. I am wondering, however, who has the power to say ‘Let’s weave a blanket together. Let’s begin with this thread.” In this article that responsibility lands squarely on the teacher. And while I agree this is our responsibility and privilege, are we embracing the principle of democratic thinking when we say documentation must originate from teachers? I have been wondering, especially during this pandemic when many children have not been in programs or classrooms, how we could better empower parents to say, “This is the thread my child is ready to weave.” I’m also wondering how we could be more attuned, and better observers or listeners for children who are expressing individual wonderings and theories when they are not in our programs or classrooms.

    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.

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