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Reflections Magazine : Reflections Magazine Issue 51
11 REFLECTIONS • GOWRIE AUSTRALIA • WINTER 2013 - ISSUE 51 us angry, and what happens to textas without lids ("Mmm, I've been told that this thing is a 'lid'. It looks yummy. Can I eat it? No? What am I supposed to do with it then?") After several other educators expressed an interest in using puppetry as a tool for exploring issues with children, I ran a workshop as my Professional Development and Reflection Program project, where I shared some basic puppetry skills and techniques. As a result of this session, it was decided to get a whole-centre puppet, which could be used by any room as a tool for discussion with the children. We brainstormed a back-story for the puppet, and considered learning areas and issues that could be enriched by the use of puppetry. We considered issues such as the puppet having been displaced from his home and coming to live at Gowrie Victoria, which could perhaps be used to explore related contemporary issues with the children. We also considered practical issues, such as how to construct a consistent identity for a puppet that would have multiple operators, and how the puppet could potentially be used with babies and toddlers as well as preschool-aged children. The characterisation of "Bolte" the puppet is still a work in progress, but he is already being used to great effect. Katriye Redif, an educator with one of the kindergarten groups, finds that a puppet elicits a different response from children than a person would. "There are children who are hesitant to speak up during group times, but when Bolte comes out, they will raise their hand and ask him questions," she says. "We use Bolte to respond to any issues we are having in the room. For example, Bolte was a great tool to discuss hygiene with the children when we needed to remind them of toileting processes." Bolte has been a great tool for us, as educators, to consider different ways of discussing issues with the children and guiding behaviour, and to evaluate various aspects of our programs. By thinking about our goals and practices through the lens of the Bolte character, we have been able to gain new insights and see fresh possibilities for our interactions with children and each other. References: Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (AGDEEWR) (2009). Belonging, being & becoming: The early years learning framework for Australia. (ISBN 978-0-642-77873-4). Canberra, ACT: Author. Retrieved from <http://deewr.gov.au/early-years-learning-framework> Edwards, C., Gandini, L. & Forman, G. (Eds.) (1998). The hundred languages of children: The Reggio Emilia approach -- advanced reflections (2nd ed). Greenwich, CT: Ablex Publishing Corporation. Hewett, V.M. (2001). Examining the Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education. Early Childhood Education Journal, 29(2), 95-100. <http://cunaeinternationalschool.com/Examiningth- eReggioEmiliaApproach.pdf> Moss, P. (2006). Structures, understandings and discourses: possibilities for re-envisioning the early childhood worker. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 7(1), 30--41. doi: 10.2304/ciec.2006.7.1.30. Rinaldi, C. (2005). In dialogue with Reggio Emilia. London: Routledge Falmer. Rinaldi, C. & Moss, P. (2004). What is Reggio? Children in Europe, 6, 2-3
Reflections Magazine Issue 52