Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Guided participation part 2

Tough night tonight.......not a smidgin (sp? or is it smidgeon?) of my job list done.  The best laid plans and all that.......

Will have to duck out for a few days now in order to concentrate on my family and an impending assignment deadline.  Here is GPR part 2, and a brief introduction to our lovely school....follow the link to find out more :)

The clip in this blogpost (at 1.52 to 5.56 minutes) shows a typical toddler taking part in the guided participation relationship (GPR) with her mother and contrasts this with footage of a toddler with autism, who is unable to take part in the GPR.   

(With thanks to Brendan from Learning Together http://www.learning-together.info for this great clip)

What's significant in the clips of these two toddlers is the amount of referencing that is going on with the first toddler - checking back in with Mum when she successfully places a brick;  sharing her emotion about her own competence in placing the brick (she does a delightful little chuckle) and using Mum as her 'guide' when she misses a brick (Mum draws her attention to it and she responds by noticing the brick and placing it on top of the tower).
Compare this to the toddler in the nappy - this toddler is not referencing at all....his Mum might as well not be there. When the tower tumbles, he becomes very distressed and is unable to use Mum to help regulate himself (note how well the toddler in the first clip recovered when the tower tumbled, simply echoing Dad's 'Uh oh!').
In the education system, there are children who have taken part in the GPR and have developed the foundations of flexible thinking.  These kids are able (mostly) to make and maintain friendships and relationships, to exercise a good measure of independence, to manage uncertainty and change (at an age appropriate level).  These are kids who have developed good emotional intelligence, executive functioning and emotional resilience via their participation in the GPR.   
Then there are children with autism, who have been unable to take part in the GPR with all the consequent challenges this brings: lack of flexibility, low resilience, poor executive functioning, poor emotional intelligence.
Our education system expects them to go into the same environment as their neuro-typical peers (hugely dynamic, ever-changing and full of uncertainty) and to be able to cope with the curve balls it throws them…………………I think you can understand why me and Dixon decided to set up our own school.
Bright Futures is not ‘an RDI school’, but we do use some of the principles that underpin RDI.  For example, our teaching staff use the guided participation relationship to help children become more flexible thinkers.
Happy browsing - more soon.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Zoe
    The clip is such a good example of the difference between a typically developing child and one who is in the danger zone for autism. I was amazed at the second mother who heavily over compensated for her child and bombarded him/her with language.
    Let's 'twin' our schools!!! We are also not an RDI school, however, we are very aware of the principles of interaction and are forever mindful of giving the children opportunities to become more flexible thinkers.