On January 23, 2018, sixteen kindergarten teachers and administrators from Nanjing China, participating in Early Childhood Education Professional Development: STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Integrated Early Childhood Education came on campus with Yvonne Liu-Constant, Professor at Lesley Uneversity. Workshop participants observed in the LNS studios, visited deCordova’s Process Gallery and The Lab and watched a slide show organized by Wendy Klix highlighting STEAM through nature. Wendy presented documentation on collecting materials in nature and the many ways natural materials connect to STEAM. At the end of their visit I asked the participants for their feedback or to share a take-away on how they experienced LNS. Here’s what they said (through an interpreter):
Very natural…Collections…Aesthetics, art…Intention to make spaces beautiful…Present children’s work with care.
The children: take risks, bold, independent, free explorations, enjoy creativity, active, engaging with each other and the adults, happiness, children singing, brave.
The teachers: active, warm and engaging with the children, happiness, genuine, joyful while observing what children do.
Lincoln Nursery School: sharing, parents, museum, freedom and happiness.
At the end of our program a teacher presented us with a gift from the children in her classroom – cut out colored paper, glued on a mat background. Cutting red paper is a traditional activity for young children in China. The four-year-olds at Nanjing No.1 Kindergarten changed the tradition by telling the five-year-olds, “We made colored paper by tie dying. Please use the paper we made to make the cut outs.”
Wisdom is a forest, which is deep and spacious
Wisdom is a spring, which is growing in running water
Pursing wisdom is an endless journey
At the beginning of your life, give us your little hands
We will transfer our wisdom and happiness to you
– Nanjing’s #1 Kindergarten pamphlet
Lincoln Nursery School is a non-sectarian, non-profit, cooperative nursery school, serving 60 children ages 2.9 to 6 years old. Our community is composed of families from many surrounding towns.
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