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Report di Alliance for Childhood sul convegno tenutosi a Salisburgo nell'Ottobre 2005 sul tema Allevare, gioco e creatività

Il prossimi incontro si terrà in Inghilterra il 14 febbraio prossimo, sul tema Prospettive sul gioco. Per maggiori informazioni: http://www.allianceforchildhood.org.uk
International perspectives on learning through play

This conference took place in October 2006, and included around 240 individuals and organisations from a wide variety of backgrounds and represented countries from all over the world. The common focus was giving children the opportunity to experience a rich and varied opportunity to be children' and develop according to their own inner law. It included parents, educators, teachers and other interested people coming together to discuss subjects such as; how to handle babies and infants, understanding learning and the development of intelligence, play and creativity, growth through parenting, alternative school models, the connection between school and working life and new developments in brain research.

The main contributors came from all over the world, and included Joan Almon (USA), Christopher Clouder (UK), and Cathy Nutbrown (Sheffield University) from the Alliance for Childhood, as well as Anna Tardos from the Emmi Pickler Institute (Hungary), William Crain, Michael Mendizza and Fred Donaldson (USA), Lienhard Valentin, Brigitte Goldman, Rainer Patzlaff, Gabriele Seils and others from Europe.

The conference provided the opportunity to form an alliance between individuals and organisations raising the consciousness of the problems faced by children today, both in society and education. Play, in all its forms, was the main content of the discussions, lectures and workshops. Fred Donaldson spoke about the relationship between children and adults today, particularly having an understanding that children have something powerful to teach us, and we need to be accessible to their teaching - creating a space where trust, love belonging, peace and grace become living practices - 'where children can thrive beyond our boundaries of culture, race and religion'. Christopher Clouder spoke about how through the forces of imagination we are truly creative and can transcend time and place - it is imagination which joins our thinking and feeling. We need to develop empathetic understanding through self development -'thinking with the heart'. To reflect in our heart we need time and space, and this is what is being taken away from childhood today - the time and space to dream, think and reflect. Michael Mendizza spoke about his new project called 'NURTURING', where the goal is to gather and share best practice and build a support structure within small neighbourhood projects or institutions. 'To bring parents, educators and health workers together in a sustained conversation around the world, and to create new communities to support parenting worldwide'.

Christopher explained the work of the Alliance. As it is not an official organisation, but works freely within each individual for the betterment of children today it 'is a state of mind in which everyone keeps their individuality within which we can reach out to each other - to offer and receive help'. A worldwide partnership of individuals dealing with questions and problems faced by children today.

I would like to end with a final quote from a child, given by Joan Almon during her talk on preserving the right for the child to experience rich and fulfilling play; " I always have lots of time - I only have to think about it, and its there!"

Let us work to preserve this precious time of Childhood.

There will be the first UK conference held on the 14th February 2006, on the theme Perspectives on Play, and contributors will include; Cathy Nutbrown, Sally Jenkinson, Barbara Isaacs, Christopher Clouder. For further information please contact http://www.allianceforchildhood.org.uk

Janni Nicol
SWSF Early Childhood Representative.

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