Friday, April 06, 2012

looking back, looking forward

Just discovered this in my 'drafts folder' thanks to the new version of blogger - can't quite remember if it got posted at the time or not but it still seems worth sharing. Worth sharing for several reasons - firstly I still believe it; secondly because I'm about to attend a course with my colleagues on peace in education that not only looks at working with the children but with their families and the community around them - acknowledging the voice of children and recognising them as being a valuable part of society now is key to achieving peace in any community; but thirdly because it makes me think of Natalie who whilst she never went into early childhood teaching after all once we qualified has raised her sons in such a way that they believe anything is possible, that they have a voice in the world and know how to use it, and are amazing people in their own right. If any children are going to cope with a mother in hospital for cancer treatment it will be these two.

So, from sometime during Semester 2, 2008:
okay, okay, it's been a while - but I've discovered that working part time and studying full time doesn't leave much brain space for anything else... strange huh? Anyway, before I get back to writing the best part (maybe that should be worst part...) of 7,000 words in the next three weeks for four different assignments here's something for you to ponder on.... (also known as Appendix III for Assignment 2, EDPROFST 621 - due in on Thursday, eeek!)

Notes on an unhurried journey

When we adults think of children, there is a simple truth which we ignore: childhood is not preparation for life; childhood is life.

A child isn’t getting ready to live; a child is living. The child is constantly confronted with the nagging question; ‘What are you going to be?’ Courageous would be the youngster who, looking the adult squarely in the face would say, ‘I’m not going to be anything, I already am.’

We adults would be shocked by such an insolent remark, for we have forgotten, if indeed we ever knew, that a child is an active participating and contributing member of society from the time he or she is born.

Childhood isn’t a time when he is moulded into a human being who will then live life; he is a human being who is living life. No child will miss the zest and joy of living unless these are denied him by adults who have convinced themselves that childhood is a period of preparation.

How much heartache would we save ourselves if we would recognise the child as a partner with adults in the process of living, rather than always viewing him as their apprentice. How much would we teach each other… Adults with the experience and children with their freshness…, how full both our lives could be.

A little child may not lead us, but at least we ought to discuss the trip with him; for, after all, life is his and her journey too.

Professor T. Ripaldi

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