160 Future Forwards: Exploring Frontiers in Education
dressing up using the fabric and then we started to record the
conversations we were hearing. Some of them saying “ I am a
princess...Charles would you like to be my dragon?... Here is your food!”
So it started that way. We always scripted their conversations.
Jessica: I think for us it goes back to the beginning where it is born out of
play. We first begin by supplying children with a variety of open-ended
materials. We set up materials in an aesthetically pleasing and welcoming
way to invite interaction. Then we watch and listen. You can imagine how
many different things can come out of this play when you really listen.
Through the process of exploration, we keep track of their conversations.
For the KGA class, for example, dragons were the common thread that
we saw were repeatedly coming out of their play with the materials.
Realizing what was coming up again and again-that’s what drove us to
start into an inquiry. What is it that the children are really interested in?
We’re not just floating on today’s whim.
Angela: Soon the students started to represent their thoughts in different
ways. One student, Maryam, started drawing her picture of a dragon and
a castle, in November 2014. She was offered the opportunity to be able
to leave her drawing in the Creative Arts Space and then continue to work
on it for as long as she felt she needed. Maryam really gave us a model
for how the students could develop their drawing over time. She would
“We are fairies, you can be our dragon.”