The trajectory of our unit on the transdisciplinary theme of Sharing the Planet is taking upon an interesting path of learning and understanding for the children and teachers. We have framed experiences, such as the shared use of the playcourt and the sharing of bicycles, to observe and to elicit the children’s action of sharing resources, resolving conflict, and how our choices and actions affect others. In the case of the use of the playcourt, the E1 children have constructed a set of rules for all the children to play peacefully in this space. However, ‘the sharing of bicycles’ has interestingly highlighted a complexity amongst the E2 children, with children not wishing ‘to give up’ his/her bike to another; whereas, with the E1 children, we observe how they are able to organically and willingly share the bicycles with no hesitance or resistance. We wonder why is this so?
When we asked the children, “What is sharing?” the E2 children’s ideas voice their understanding of the concept:
“When you have something and you give your thing to someone”
“If you have one toy you can give it to somebody else”
The E2 children’s understanding of sharing seems partly there – they are able to share one apple between several children as long as everyone receives a piece; however, when there is a necessity to ‘give up’ something as a whole, such as a bicycle, the sharing becomes more difficult.
As we frame this unit from the concepts of Responsibility and Perspective, whilst we are confident that the children will develop in their understanding and learning, we constantly wonder how we can best scaffold their understanding to a deeper underlying layer, where especially the E2 children, may be able to understand and to enact being in the shoes of another? We welcome your thoughts and ideas.