Thursday, February 27, 2014

Provocation - Gender Identity

Take this scenario: A boy arrives at your service wearing a pink shirt and a coupe of other boys notice his arrival. These boys comment that he's a girls because he's wearing a girl's shirt.

Or how about this one: A girl really wants to join some boys while they engaged in some rough and tumble superhero play, but one of the boys tells her she can't play be a superhero because she's a girl.

How do you react in such a situations if you react at all?

Are there other ways in which your children, colleagues or even yourself maintain biased beliefs that restrict certain children from engaging in specific experiences?

Are dress ups, dance or doll play domains primarily for girls?

Do you encourage boys more toward construction or with the use of real tools such as hammers and screwdrivers?

We all carry preconceived ideas and beliefs, but should we let these interfere with our pedagogical decisions?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Provocation - Questions

Questions can be a valuable way to gain information, but they can also be fraught with danger. When you ask somebody a question in order to get an answer to a quandary it's no big deal. However, if you question why or how something is done it can often be taken very personally even if it is not intended that way.

If someone questions why you do something do you become defensive? I know I have. It's instinctive for many of us, but is it justifiable? After all, don't such questions lend themselves to us being more reflective?

How do you react to being questioned? Do you immediately get on the defensive if your practices are being put up for debate? Do you welcome the scrutiny, safe in the knowledge that your approaches are impeccable? Do you relish the opportunity to look introspectively at your personal and/or professional life?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Provocation - messy play

What are your thoughts about messy play and what do you consider too messy?

Do you accept mud play if it is in a controlled environment such as a mud kitchen or is open plan mud exploration just as acceptable?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Provocation - Risk

Time for our next provocation.

There's that word - RISK. It invites a whole range of responses from people, many laced with great emotion. Here's the thing though, the word risk is perceived in many different ways. For some very negative connotations are immediately brought to the fore of their mind, while others might take it as an invitation to throw caution to the wind.

So where do you stand? Is risk an essential part of a child's development and therefore and early years environment or is it unduly placing our children in harm's way.

What are your thoughts? And remember, please be respectful and keep any comments professional. I want to enable all responses to be published, but will not let inappropriate language or personal attacks appear on this blog.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


I'mmm Baaaaack! Now that isn't scary at all.
At least not as scary as this photo.

I will try to get back into blogging in a default kind of way. I'm going to try to post regular provocations onto our Facebook page which will also be posted here. Hopefully it will get us all thinking.

The first one is the reason for this pic:

Being a bloke in the Early Years profession is much more than simply adding my 'maleness' to the environment. Discuss.