Loris Malaguzzi Quotes
Books by Loris Malaguzzi
Best 30 Quotes by Loris Malaguzzi
“A child has a hundred languages, but the school and society steal ninety-nine of them.”
“Creativity becomes more visible when adults try to be more attentive to the cognitive processes of children than to the results they achieve in various fields of doing and understanding.”
“I was an elementary school teacher. My poor theoretical models were all ridiculously overturned. First, it was really traumatic that building a school could be an idea coming from ordinary people – women, hired hands, metalworkers, and smallholders.
But the second school paradox was that the school was built by that same people, without money, without permission, without technical help, without a council of directors, school supervisors and leaders of parties, but with only their working hands, placing one brick on top of another.”
“Learning and teaching should not stand on opposite banks and just watch the river flow by; instead, they should embark together on a journey down the water. Through an active, reciprocal exchange, teaching can strengthen learning and how to learn.”
“Our task is to help children communicate with the world using all their potential, strengths and languages, and to overcome any obstacle presented by our culture.”
“Stand aside for a while and leave room for learning, observe carefully what children do, and then, if you have understood well, perhaps teaching will be different from before.”
“There is an inner voice that pushes children on, but this force is greatly multiplied when they are convinced that facts and ideas are resources, just as their friends and the adults in their lives are precious resources.
It is especially at this point that children expect – as they have from the beginning of their life adventure – the help and truthfulness of grownups.”
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“To make a loveable school, industrious, inventive, liveable, documentable and communicable, a place of research, learning, re-cognition and reflection, where children, teachers and families feel well – is our point of arrival.”
Your Image of the Child Quotes
“All of this is a great forest. Inside the forest is the child. The forest is beautiful, fascinating, green, and full of hopes; there are no paths. Although it isn’t easy, we have to make our own paths, as teachers and children and families, in the forest.”
“Both children and adults need to feel active and important — to be rewarded by their own efforts, their own intelligences, their own activity and energy. When a child feels these things are valued, they become a fountain of strength for him. He feels the joy of working with adults who value his work and this is one of the bases for learning.
Overactivity on the part of the adult is a risk factor. The adult does too much because he cares about the child; but this creates a passive role for the child in her own learning.”
“Children are very sensitive and can see and sense very quickly the spirit of what is going on among the adults in their world. They understand whether the adults are working together in a truly collaborative way or if they are separated in some way from each other, living their experience as if it were private with little interaction.”
“Children have the right to imagine. We need to give them full rights of citizenship in life and in society. It’s necessary that we believe that the child is very intelligent, that the child is strong and beautiful and has very ambitious desires and requests. This is the image of the child that we need to hold.
Those who have the image of the child as fragile, incomplete, weak, made of glass gain something from this belief only for themselves. We don’t need that as an image of children. Instead of always giving children protection, we need to give them the recognition of their rights and of their strengths.”
“Each one of us needs to be able to play with the things that are coming out of the world of children. Each one of us needs to have curiosity, and we need to be able to try something new based on the ideas that we collect from the children as they go along.
Life has to be somewhat agitated and upset, a bit restless, somewhat unknown. As life flows with the thoughts of the children, we need to be open, we need to change our ideas; we need to be comfortable with the restless nature of life.”
“Each one of you has inside yourself an image of the child that directs you as you begin to relate to a child. This theory within you pushes you to behave in certain ways; it orients you as you talk to the child, listen to the child, observe the child.
It is very difficult for you to act contrary to this internal image. For example, if your image is that boys and girls are very different from one another, you will behave differently in your interactions with each of them.”
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“It’s important for the teacher who works with young children to understand that she knows little about children.”
“It’s very probable that once a day, maybe twice or three times or many times a day, the children are asking themselves: 'What is my mother doing?', 'What is my father doing?', 'What is my brother or my sister doing?', 'Are they having more fun than I am?', 'Are they bored?'”
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“The people who are regarded as moral luminaries are those who forego ordinary pleasures themselves and find compensation in interfering with the pleasures of others.”
“School can never be always predictable. We need to be open to what takes place and able to change our plans and go with what might grow at that very moment both inside the child and inside ourselves.”
“School is not at all like billiards. When you play billiards you push the ball with a certain force and it hits the table and bounces off; there’s a definite way the ball will go, depending on force and direction.
Children are not at all like this, predictable. But sometimes schools function as if they were; these are schools with no joy.”
“The ability to enjoy relationships and work together is very important. Children need to enjoy being in school, they need to love their school and the interactions that take place there. Their expectations of these interactions is critical.
It is also important for the teachers to enjoy being with the other teachers, to enjoy seeing the children stretch their capacities and use their intelligences, to enjoy interactions with the children. Both parts are essential.”
“The child wants to be observed in action. She wants the teacher to see the process of her work, rather than the product. The teacher asks the child to take a bucket of water from one place to the other. It’s not important to the child that the teacher only sees him arrive with the bucket of water at the end.
What is important to the child is that the teacher sees the child while the child is working, while the child is putting out the effort to accomplish the task — the processes are important, how much the child is putting into the effort, how heroic the child is doing this work. ”
“The child wants to be observed, but she doesn’t want to be judged. Even when we do judge, things escape us, we do not see things, so we are not able to evaluate in a wide way.”
“The environment you construct around you and the children also reflects this image you have about the child. There’s a difference between the environment that you are able to build based on a preconceived image of the child and the environment that you can build that is based on the child you see in front of you — the relationship you build with the child, the games you play.”
“There are hundreds of different images of the child.”
“There are many things that are part of a child’s life just as they are part of an adult’s life. The desire to do something for someone, for instance. Every adult has a need to feel that we are seen/observed by others. This is just as true for children as for adults.
Therefore, it’s possible to observe, to receive a lot of pleasure and satisfaction from observing in many different ways. When the child is observed, the child is happy — it’s almost an honor that he is observed by an adult.”
“We cannot separate the child from a particular reality. She brings these experiences, feelings, and relationships into school with her.”
“We have to let children be with children. Children learn a lot from other children, and adults learn from children being with children. Children love to learn among themselves, and they learn things that it would never be possible to learn from interactions with an adult.
The interaction between children is a very fertile and a very rich relationship. If it is left to ferment without adult interference and without that excessive assistance that we sometimes give, then it’s more advantageous to the child. We don’t want to protect something that doesn’t need to be protected.”
“We need to produce situations in which children learn by themselves, in which children can take advantage of their own knowledge and resources autonomously, and in which we guarantee the intervention of the adult as little as possible.
We don’t want to teach children something that they can learn by themselves. We don’t want to give them thoughts that they can come up with by themselves. What we want to do is activate within children the desire and will and great pleasure that comes from being the authors of their own learning.”
“We need to think of the school as a living organism. Children have to feel that the world is inside the school and moves and thinks and works and reflects on everything that goes on.
Of course not all children are the same — each child brings a part of something that’s different into the school.”
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“What children want is to be observed while engaged, they do not want the focus of the observation to be on the final product. When we as adults are able to see the children in the process, it’s as if we are opening a window and getting a fresh view of things. 'If only you had seen all I had to do.' The child wants this observation. We all want this.”
“What the child doesn’t want is an observation from the adult who isn’t really there, who is distracted. The child wants to know that she is observed, carefully, with full attention.”
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“Every child needs at least one adult who is irrationally crazy about him or her.”
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