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How do you handle “bad guys?” Join a yearlong, co-constructed investigation of goodness and badness, real and pretend, safety and courage. Expand your practice as you learn alongside a passionate and creative teacher, who takes risks and shares the outcomes as this energizing story unfolds.
Pursuing Bad Guys is part of the Reimagining Our Work (ROW) collection. Use the ROW collection to discover how early childhood educators in the field are reimagining their work and thinking alongside children.
“In this courageous, challenging, invigorating work, Donna King pulls back the curtain on transforming practice. With deep trust, Donna and colleague Sarah create a context where co-learning flourishes. The excitement is palpable.”
“This joyful book uncovers the power of children and teachers to engage in deep learning that is genuinely respectful and responsive. I highly recommend this book for teachers interested in deepening their practice, and for anyone curious about what the Reggio Emilia approach can look like in an American school context.”
“A vital contribution for teachers who love the creativity and imagination of young children but are unsure how to constructively handle their ‘bad guy’ play. As the children explored and shared their hopes and fears, they found they could work together to support one another and discover their own inner courage and strength.”
Table of Contents:
INTRODUCTION: BEGINNING THE YEAR
1) LEARNING ENCOUNTERS
2) A CULTURAL SHIFT
3) BECOMING BAD GUY RESEARCHERS
4) ACTION TO SUPPORT OUR RESEARCH
5) OFFERING MATERIALS FOR BAD GUY RESEARCH
6) PROTECTION FROM BADNESS
7) FINDING POWER IN SHARED STORY MAKING
8) GOODBYE TO THE FADING BAD GUY
9) REFLECTING ON LEARNING AND CHANGE
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
In 1990, Donna King took what she learned from her graduate school research on child care quality, and partnered with a group of teachers and parents to launch a small, non-profit early education program in Durham, North Carolina.
They named the school “Children First” to affirm their founding commitment: in this place, parents and teachers would come together to grapple with the harsh economic realities of early childhood education - high cost for families, low compensation for teachers - without compromising the experience of the children in their care.
Children First currently serves 12 children, aged 2¾ to 5, in one mixed-age group with two teachers. Over its thirty-year history, the school has taken to heart the core ideals of progressive education: intention, reflection, joy, beauty, respect, lifelong learning, and love. It strives to foster a close-knit and lively community where children are seen and celebrated as unique individuals; where children spend lots of time outdoors and grow a deep connection with nature; where children learn to communicate their feelings and thoughts through many expressive languages, especially the native language of childhood - pretend play; and where children’s unfolding life stories are captured in individual portfolios that document their development as creators, thinkers, citizens and friends.
Donna is married to Kevin McClain, whose quiet wisdom and unstinting generosity are the hidden backbone of Children First, and the beating heart of the King-McClain family. Their three children - Cara, Anna Grace, and Josh - all Children First graduates - are now young adults, each working in their own unique ways to bring the values of Children First to life in the larger world.