Seven Propositions about Form, Function, and Understanding in Learning Groups
PROPOSITION I. Factors that influence the formation, functioning, and demonstration of understanding of learning groups in early childhood include the size of the group; the age, competencies, and interests of the children; gender; time spent together; friendships; and choice of materials.
PROPOSITION II. Individuals within a learning group have their own approaches to learning, which can nonetheless be influenced by the learning approaches of others. We refer to this phenomenon as the "modifiable fingerprint."
PROPOSITION III. When exploring ideas together, learning groups follow a set of rulessome tacit, some explicit.
PROPOSITION IV. Learning groups choose ideas according to an aesthetic of knowledge or "the pattern that connects."*
PROPOSITION V. Learning groups have different styles that are rhythmic in nature.
PROPOSITION IV. Learning groups can create and benefit from competent audiences.
PROPOSITION VII: Indicators that learning groups are supporting and demonstrating understanding include the following:
a. Children and adults feel they are contributing to a larger, more meaningful whole.
* By aesthetics, the Reggio educators refer to the ability to the ability to judge and evaluate images or theories that work best for the particular project at hand. They also use the term to imply what is most pleasing, attractive, or satisfying to oneself or to others.
** We use the term theory to refer to a "system of concepts, strategies, and actions that provides a satisfactory explanation for the person who produces the theory." (Rinaldi, 1999) Although theories are characterized by the coherence and interdependence of their concepts, they are not static but open to falsification by new evidence.
© 2001 Project Zero and Reggio Children, p.247.
Copyright 2006 Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard University.
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