Believing in the Potential of Children

During the last afternoon session of the conference, there was a session truly encapsulated the entire week.  I know it I can’t do the session justice in words, but in essence, it was about a year-long project with 5 and 6 year olds to create a art piece for a scaffolding facade in town.

The project had many, many layers to it including research, vision, drafts, revision, collaboration, implementation and celebration. It took a year to complete! A year!  But the year was filled with purposeful trials, extensive debate and collaboration (among the children), tangents related to the project and so much more.  The resulting artwork on the scaffolding facade was a gift to the city, but the true gifts here were the gift of time and an honest belief in the potential of the young children.  The RE schools, show an intense belief in the competencies and potential of children.  Ideas are not judged or put aside.  Comments are not too small to investigate.  Artwork is not just art, but an extension of inquiry.  I marvel at this both the amount of time given to the project in such rich ways and the ability to put aside adult assumptions and trust the children.  But when done, with trust and time and no assumptions or judgments – the result was breathtaking.

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