“A child’s most sought after goal is to recognize himself in others, and to find in others parts of himself.”
-Loris Malaguzzi, founder of the pre-primary schools of Reggio Emilia
Dear Primary Community families,
At Opal School, we see all children as competent, creative, curious, and courageous. We believe they come to school full of experience and wisdom, eager to make meaning of their lives and everything that surrounds them. This year, the Opal School Primary Community teachers are particularly curious about what it means to be an individual within a community. We believe that exploring the tension between our individual needs or desires and those of the community not only helps us know ourselves better – it also prepares us to engage with the most important questions facing our world.
One goal and expectation for Opal School students is to develop strategies that contribute to the quality of the community by collaborating with others to construct ideas and create new knowledge.
With this goal in mind, our work together this year will be framed around the big idea of “the we that I am.” Within this big idea, we wonder:
What does it mean to belong to a community that recognizes and values differences?
Inside of this big question lives many smaller questions:
- How might better understanding ourselves help us better understand others?
- What are our rights and responsibilities as members of a community? What is the relationship between rights and responsibilities?
- How might considering our different perspectives invite us to grow our collective understanding of ourselves, each other, and the world?
- How can listening and awareness of our impact on others inform our actions?
- What becomes possible when we are curious about difference? How might curiosity about difference support empathy?
This above is a snapshot of our intentions for the year, a sneak peek into some of our thinking and the possibilities we’re imagining. We look forward to sharing many windows into the children and teachers’ learning experiences and the evolving theories of identity and community we are constructing together.
Heather, Lauren, Kerry, Sarah, and Katharine
- Intentions: Transformation (Beginning Community)
- Intentions: Interdependency and Perspective-Taking (Intermediate Community)
- Articulating Our Intentions (Primary Community – 2016)