child and teacher playing clapping game together

Learning through music

Grant, five months old, attends a nursery where the staff and children love to sing. One day his key worker lost her voice, and she noticed that Grant was fussy and discontented.

“We have all experienced crying, fussy, or sick children in our care who become calm when quality instrumental music is played. They are listening!” writes Elizabeth Carlton, music consultant at High/Scope Educational Research Foundation.

“If we sing to our three- and four-year-olds, we will probably be asked to sing the song again…and again. Many listening experiences during the first two years of life are necessary before children actually sing or talk with us…Songs, instruments, and instrumental music are wonderful ways to develop children’s listening skills and awareness of different words and musical pitches.” Read the article

Pete Moorhouse working with children

Memories that last

"You are told a lot about your education, but some beautiful, sacred memory, preserved since childhood, is perhaps the best education of all."
–Fyodor Dostoevsky 

Do you remember that teacher who was larger-than-life? A 'big person' who made the little person feel a bit less vulnerable and a lot more capable? Pete Moorhouse does this for children when he teaches them to use a hammer or a camera. 

Here's part of a recent conversation with Pete: What’s so good about wood?
toddlers playing

Understanding and encouraging toddler play

Toddlers are more complex than we often give them credit for. What better way to learn about how toddlers think than by watching them play? Kay Albrecht has worked with young children for many years and has a way of inspiring others to observe the wonderful world of "toddlerhood."

Read this article on observing and enabling toddlers' play.

project approach

The Project Approach

Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. -John Dewey

One of the greatest gifts educators can give to children is a life-long love of learning. Although the educational pendulum is swinging toward uniformity, practitioners know that children's interests differ widely. Meeting the learning needs of each child demands the full attention of an adult's creativity.

The Project Approach offers teachers a way to build their curriculum on the natural curiosity of children. When a topic is relevant, children actively participate in the educational experience. This kind of authentic learning energizes the child as they “become part of a community of investigators” instead of a passive recipient of information.

“Along with the motivation it provides,” writes Dr. Sylvia C. Chard, “project work also integrates all areas of learning and aspects of child development. It offers many chances to practice problem solving and critical thinking—skills that build language, math, and scientific understanding. In fact, it helps children gain confidence in themselves and their abilities and develops in them the disposition to strive for understanding.” Read more.

boy smiling cheekishly

Tribute to Froebel's birthday on 21 April

Here’s a priceless memory of Froebel’s teaching style from his first boarding student, Dr Christian Eduard Langethal in 1872:

"Froebel was original; so naturally the children he educated were encouraged to be original too. He wanted to educate children to be free thinkers, not copies – people, not machines. Our understanding, our ability to reason, and the strength of our bodies were to develop in harmony and not – as was customary – to the exclusion of each other. This was Froebel’s cardinal educational rule, the foundation of all other principles. Of course this meant the teacher needed to fully understand, and respond to, the individual character, strengths and weaknesses of each pupil. We heard the words, “respond to the children!” almost every day."

Read more about this revolutionary educator here


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