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Your Image of the Child
July 21, 2011
Service is the rent that you pay for room on this earth.
-Shirley Chisholm
Loris Malaguzzi, the founder of the Reggio Emilia approach, focused attention on the images teachers have of the children in their care.  In his Exchange article, "Your Image of the Child:  Where Teaching Begins," which is included in the new digital Exchange Essential, "Inspiring Practices - Part 1," he observed...

"There are hundreds of different images of the child.  Each one of you has inside yourself an image of the child that directs you as you begin to relate to a child.  This theory within you pushes you to behave in certain ways; it orients you as you talk to the child, listen to the child, observe the child.  It is very difficult for you to act contrary to this internal image.  For example, if your image is that boys and girls are very different from one another, you will behave differently in your interactions with each of them.

"The environment you construct around you and the children also reflects this image you have about the child.  There's a difference between the environment that you are able to build based on a preconceived image of the child and the environment that you can build that is based on the child you see in front of you — the relationship you build with the child, the games you play.  An environment that grows out of your relationship with the child is unique and fluid."

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