Cognitive Knot #1

A cognitive knot is a key element in Reggio teaching. Cognitive knots are problems that provide direction and propulsion for learning to move forward. Sometimes teachers launch cognitive knots, guiding learning to a new realm. Other times, cognitive knots are predetermined by circumstances or relationships. You, as parents, have been in a cognitive knot for awhile now, as you navigate school decision-making. You’ve been trying to decide what’s best for your child/ren, what’s best for your whole family, and/or what’s best for all kids. You’re wondering if you should take the leap.

As an internal team, we’ve had one cognitive knot after the other for the past two and a half years! And now we’re excited for the community of families, teachers, and students to share cognitive knots together. When we first found our school building, we were thrilled we wouldn’t be in a warehouse or strip mall (which would have been a different cognitive knot to solve!). When we saw mostly asphalt with a strip of grass in the front of the school, we paused, reflected, and then saw a unique opportunity. Knowing that the Palace Community Center and River are nearby, we were excited to have a cognitive knot for the collective group. While the grassy patch and parking lot could be seen as an obstacle, prohibiting children from learning in the “real” outdoors, we see a cognitive knot with value. Every cognitive knot starts with more questions, such as, “Is an urban environment still outdoor learning?” and “Who decides how outdoor learning is defined?” We see an opportunity for children to solve problems together, posing their own questions such as “how could we maximize this space for children at various stages of development?” Imagine the possibilities this cognitive knot will yield. Leap towards Northern Lights and join for the unraveling!