Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Diary of Laura: A Book Review

About The Book:

An assemblage of affectionately written notes and photographs, Story of Laura, the original diary, chronicles the journey of one child's first months in an infant-toddler program in Reggio Emilia, Italy. It details the progression of eleven-month-old Laura's growth and milestones in the program and offers a unique perspective on her early child care experience.

Beautifully presented, The Diary of Laura includes a reproduction of the Italian diary, first published in 1983, next to the new English translation. Many of you will recognize the last entry—Laura's notable discoveries about a watch.

One of the few Reggio Emilia books focused on the infant and toddler years, the diary is a powerful tool for early childhood students and professionals. This account of Reggio-based care is an insightful model for observation and reflection.

The Diary of Laura includes reflective essays from:

J. Ronald Lally EdD
Co-Director, Center for Child and Family Studies, WestEd
San Francisco, California, United States of America

Pat Wharton
Pedagogical Consultant, Early Learning Associates
Stirling, Scotland

Jan Millikan
Pedagogical Director, Reggio Australia Exchange
Victoria, Australia

Moonja Oh
Director, Korean Center for Children and Teachers (KCCT) Early Childhood Consultant
Seoul, Korea

Harold Göthson 
Reggio Emilia Institute
Stockholm, Sweden
Softbound, 120 pgs.

Read the table of contents and a sample chapter 

About The Editors:

Carolyn Edwards is a professor of psychology and child, youth, and family studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has a doctorate in human development from Harvard University and has done postdoctoral work in Reggio Emilia, Italy. 

Carlina Rinaldi is President of Reggio Children and Professor of Pedagogy at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. She worked side by side with Loris Malaguzzi in the municipal infant-toddler and preschool system of Reggio Emilia, where she was the first pedagogical coordinator.

My Review:

The philosophy of Early Childhood Education that has come forward from teachings in Reggio Emilia, Italy is one of philosophies that I built my career in Early Childhood Education on. I love it a lot and am always looking for resources that examine this child-oriented philosophy. 

I recently finished reading The Diary of Laura: Perspectives on a Reggio Emilia Diary. What a pleasant experience. Interwined through the book are real life diary entries of a infant/toddler about experiences at Reggio Emilia, and essays from top leaders in Early Childhood Education. It was a great way to see the Reggio philosophy in action! 

I absolutely loved the photos that were included in the book, chronicling a "day in the life of..". It was great to see what was written down in action and see the look of discovery on the infants as well. Reggio Emilia does not have a model to copy, nor specific training to take but rather a way to look at the education of young minds in a new light. It is one that I try (along with Montessori) to utilize in my home child care program, and can do so with great ease.

If you work in the Early Childhood Education, regardless of the philosophy you follow, I highly recommend you read this book. It will inspire and encourage you in your work with young children! 

I give this book a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase The Diary of Laura: Perspectives on a Reggio Emilia Diary online through RedLeaf Press.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of RedLeaf Press, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

1 comment:

  1. Looks like an interesting read. Look forward to checking it out.