Sunday, May 22, 2011

A few skiing photos for Annika & Niki!

More to share from Norway!

It is hard to describe the joy of being in such a beautiful environment. The children were so at ease in the environment, whether they were walking or skiing. No poles allowed, for children or adults as this is the method used to ensure that children develop strong balance - and they did.... 
Initially feeling a little tentative without those ski poles!
Oh this is fun, memories of my cross country adventures in Scotland come to mind!
Oh this is sooooo very beautiful, just to be here is enough. 
The children explore and experiment, trying out all the possibilities, here turning the ski into a snow board - and off they go!

It is now home time, everyone responsible for their own gear. Each child trusted and valued in this place, taking responsibility for their own gear. Each one resourceful and resilient in their own right. A powerful place to learn.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Just to share a little of my fun in Norway!

The fun of creating a snow angel.

I have done this before, but this experience is quite different.

The depth of this snow angel has to be seen to be believed!

Children in Norway are viewed as capable and competent. I visited settings where children spent all year learning in the outdoors. These were powerful four year old children strongly connected to their environment, resourceful and resilient in their place. Although I cannot show many images of children I will share images of myself being playful in this environment with children and I am sure it will give you a clear vision of the joy, laughter and learning that was so evident in this place.

Time to bury our visitor!

Three boys join in the excitement. I try hard to return the snow.

Success is close!

The pleasure and joy of the experience is wonderful.

Time for more snow battles, so I head for Claire!

Claire soon returns the favour!

This sledging is great fun with a crowd.

It is also alot of fun by yourself

I have many more photos to share of this wonderful experience (some of them can be viewed here:  I hope the notion that young children in Norway can spend their early years outside through all weather (rain, snow, sleet and sun), will challenge some to think about the indoor prisons some have created for small children. Norway acknowledges the powerful space that nature provides for learning, some of the ideas they discussed with us included the following:
  • That education in mathematics and science is based on phenomena in nature
  • That education in languages is based on phenomena in nature
  • Therefore we must take children outside to engage in these experiences, to learn and to feel.
  • They shared a wonderful experience of what children can potentially learn from observing an anthill closely, it was filled with rich deep learning opportunities.
  • They talked passionately about the possibilities for learning in an outdoor kindergarten. To build curious children, who will develop social competence through co-operation. Children who can concentrate and engage in challenging concepts and content in the outdoors.