Teaching and Learning

Oct
07

What if?

I like to wake up before the sun and head to the hills to walk on trails called Dogwood and Wild Cherry and Aspen. I steep my senses in the earthiness — the rhythmic bird songs, the snappy feel of cold air in my nose — the whole collection of early morning messages from the […]

By Tara Papandrew | Teaching and Learning
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Oct
03

Growing Independence And Collaboration

I used to picture my five-year-old son starting kindergarten as an experience that I expected would be full of nervous excitement, joy, laughter, and new friends. My son loved preschool. His experience with school prior to kindergarten led him to hold a strong image of what it means to go to school and to learn–an […]

By Kerry Salazar | Teaching and Learning
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Sep
29

Playful Inquiry and Politically Charged Topics

This post comes from our colleague Ben Mardell and is also posted on the Pedagogy of Play blog. Persistent and pernicious racism and inequality. Hurricanes and wildfires of historic proportion. A pandemic that is increasing poverty and causing famines. Incredibly serious issues whose consequences young people will not only confront when they are finished with […]

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Sep
24

The Future Is A Lovely Day

Tara Papandrew was asked to review The Future is a Lovely Day for the Summer 2020 issue of Innovations in Early Education: The Reggio Emilia Exchange, a periodical published by the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance (NAREA), that focuses on the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education. Innovations was developed in 1992 through an […]

By Tara Papandrew | Teaching and Learning
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Sep
18

Considering Risks and Opportunities

I’m interested in the ways in which these strange days of learning about teaching during a global pandemic serve as a kind of sieve, shaking loose the things we didn’t know we didn’t need and leaving behind the stuff we can’t do school without –  exposed in ways it has not been before. Teachers are now […]

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Sep
14

Getting Started: West Coast Global Pandemic Edition

This pandemic experience is a massive experiment in collective vulnerability. We can be our worst selves when we’re afraid, or our very best, bravest selves. In the context of fear and vulnerability, there is often very little in between because when we are uncertain and afraid our default is self-protection. We don’t have to be […]

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Jul
16

Seeking Connections

While discussion and debate carries on about whether and how to open schools safely, we know that children’s museums will be unlikely to see visitors for many months to come. As we work to determine the best ways to welcome children back to Opal School in the fall, our home and partner organization, Portland Children’s Museum, remains […]

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May
17

An ecology of listening

“What’s the thing that most people miss above all? It’s just the chance to be gregarious, to be with other people. Human beings are socially evolved primates. It wasn’t that many generations ago that we were sitting on the floor of the Savannah picking lice out of each other’s fur. So, it’s hard to be […]

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Apr
21

What Do We Do When We Don’t Know What To Do?

“From now on things will be described in terms of the times Before and After Corona. Right now we are in neither. This is a threshold time, the liminal time where everything is reorganized. Every small and big action now opens or closes possibilities of what the future holds.” Nora Bateson (@NoraBateson – Twitter – […]

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Mar
17

Get Out

As Opal School’s Outdoor Education Specialist, I am lucky enough to spend lots of time outside every day. I believe that fresh air and time outside on trails helps me stay healthy. Science seems to confirm that belief. In The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative, Florence Williams studies the […]

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