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New article: The Inspiring Pedagogy and Practice of Ignorance


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In this article, Dr Rebecca Webb and MA in Early Years Education student Kathy Foster reflect on Kathy's use of the Scrapbook Approach to explore her own uncertainty, what it feels like to come from a place of not-knowing in order to be open to asking questions, and trying something new. 

Sometimes not-knowing can be daunting. Kathy is really inspiring because, in conversation with Rebecca, she uses it as a way to be curious rather than concerned. 

If you are thinking about ways that you can be reflective as an individual practitioner, or as a staff team, do have a read and let us know what your approaches are. 

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What an inspiring article from Rebecca and Kathy. 😃

I was so struck by the positive spin on 'not knowing'; we are often afraid of exposing our ignorance and devise various ways of disguising it. How refreshing it is to be given the permission to acknowledge that our journey to gaining knowledge, is just that- a journey. I really liked where Rebecca described Kathy's method of 'documenting what she did not know, rather than listing what she did'. And similarly, via a child's Tapestry journal, being curious about the child's needs and discussing these with the parents and carers.

We are all on a learning journey; it's a lifelong experience, hopefully. And, as Rebecca says, 'For those nurseries that enable practitioners to reflect and 'to not know' alongside the children, will encourage the love of learning together'.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been really enjoying having a teeny bit more time to read articles, so thanks to the FSF team for having some great ones to dip into.

Some of this article really resonated with me too. Like you, Helen, it's refreshing for it to not just be 'Ok' but to actively celebrate the not knowing, and I really enjoyed reading this.

Years ago when I did my masters we kept a journal style for part of it. It terrified be that it would be the assessment for that part if the course. (No essay!). At the time, it was completely new to me (20+years ago), and I looked at my empty book for quite a long time, not knowing what I 'should' write. I'm a mathematician, I'm used to things being done in a particular way. I still have my journal and from time to time read it back to see where I've come from in that time, and also the things that I was grappling with then and still am! 

I like Kathy's response that she wanted her book to be 'pretty'. Isn't that what many of us wanted our children's learning diaries to be like, neat ordered and pretty, whereas when you leave them to children to design, they are, as Kathy also points out, an extension of themselves. How many of us have removed children's ownership of their journals by wanting them to be right?

Anyway I digress. Years after my first, often troubled trip into a scrapbook approach, it's now a permanent fixture. I always have a book with me, it's full of all sorts of stuff, questions, readings, observations, musings.

When I reflect back, I'm glad I had those anxious and highly uncomfortable moments, that I was able to say hmm I don't know about this or why that is, I can't answer that, etc etc, I definitely think it was worth it.

Thankyou Kathy and Rebecca, for sharing.

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