Messing about with the philosophical ideas of Malaguzzi and Hawkins

A few months ago I (Louise Jupp) had the privilege of facilitating a workshop, along with Diane Kashin and Rosalba Bortolotti, focussed on messing about, reflection and engaging dialogue around the philosophical parallels of Loris Malaguzzi and David Hawkins.

Looking closely at balance


The day was inspiring and extremely thoughtful in both the care with which so many participants entered into the invitations to mess about and in the many paradigm shifting and pedagogy expanding conversations that took place. As always, rocks, balance and light played a central role in grappling with our “big ideas“.

Messing about with light

The event was made even more exciting by our anticipation of Lella Gandini’s upcoming Acorn School visit. Lella, translator for Loris Malaguzzi and friend of Frances and David Hawkins, introduced the two great and beautiful minds, and as such was the perfect person to add context to the philosophical parallels. A lovely image from that event appears below and reflections on the visit will be featured in an upcoming post at Technology Rich Inquiry Based Research.

Lella Gandinit discusses philosophical parallels

As with any visit to the Hawkins exhibit, invitations to balance with both a physical and a philosophical lens are everywhere. Watching participants as they make meaning with materials by aligning them in states that are both aesthetically pleasing and held upright with the magic of physical properties, acts as a mental invitation to consider symmetry and equality in all of its manifestations.

Petra contemplates rocks

Petra, the participant above walked away from each of her messing about encounters with materials, having reached a state of equilibrium herself, and shared one of her many nuggets of teaching wisdom and joy, sharing in her experiences as a Forest School Kindergarten teacher. Below, a grade 2 teacher, explains her discovery of the intricacies of balance, specifically how one small wooden piece is integral to the balance of the entire structure, reminding us of the power of one in the community of many in our teaching and learning communities.

The intricacy of one piece in balance

The beauty of messing about materials was everywhere and our reflective dialogue was elevated by the presence of a wooden bead or a rock in our hand. The authentic, honest sharing of insights and questions between participants and members of our PLN was transformational and inspired all to consider how they might create learning spaces inspired by the great and beautiful minds of Loris Malaguzzi and David Hawkins.

The beauty of balanced rocks

Don’t miss your next or first opportunity to discover the theories of messing about and inquiry-based learning by joining us for a day of innovative thinking and learning at the 2014 Education Exploration Project and the exhibit, Cultivate the Scientist in Every Child: The Philosophy of Frances and David Hawkins.

EdEx Project