‘Stand aside for a while and leave room for learning, observe what children do, and then, you have understood it well, perhaps teaching will be different from before.’ - Loris Malaguzzi History, ideas and basic philosophy: An interview with Lella Gandini in Edwards, C., L. and Forman, G. (Eds.) The hundred languages of children: The Reggio Emilia approach - Advanced Reflections (Ablex: Greenwich, CT)
In October 2017, 9 children from a Cambridge City Nursery spent 5 consecutive mornings ‘In Residence’ at The Fitzwilliam Museum and Cambridge University Botanic Garden. The residency formed the basis of a multi-disciplinary, practitioner-led research project by a team of museum, garden and nursery practitioners. We hoped that the residency would give us the opportunity to, ‘stand aside for a while and leave room for learning’ as Malaguzzi describes above. We were able to take time to observe and reflect on the encounters between people, spaces and objects in the collections, and to develop a better understanding of what the museum and garden offer to young learners. Working in close collaboration was a key aspect of our research methodology and pedagogical practice. We are now planning to share and develop good practice within each of our settings and beyond.