The Hundred Languages of Children (and grown-ups too) - Episode #9

Show Notes

This is our last episode of the year, and it’s a special one. 2020 was a year like no other, to all of us. In the unfolding of an unprecedented pandemic, I watched so many tragedies and also so many breakthroughs. I felt a huge urge to discover what was meaningful for me. And I wasn’t alone on that. I watched my friends reinventing themselves, becoming more conscious and generous; fighting in peace against injustice, looking for ways to live more healthily and joyfully. In the middle of so much struggle and fear, we saw - and see - thousands of people risking their lives to take care of others, and millions standing up against injustice and racism. For me, 2020’s struggles taught me that I am way more resourceful, creative and connected than I ever imagined. And so, in this episode, I would like to celebrate our creativity, our potential for re-invention and connection with this beautiful poem from Loris Malaguzzi, one of the thought-leaders of the Reggio Emilia Approach.

That’s my translation of the poem.

The hundred languages of children

The child is made of one hundred.

The child has

a hundred languages

a hundred hands

a hundred thoughts

a hundred ways of thinking

of playing, of speaking.

A hundred.

Always a hundred

ways of listening

of marveling, of loving

a hundred joys

for singing and understanding

a hundred worlds

to discover

a hundred worlds

to invent

a hundred worlds

to dream.

The child has

a hundred languages

(and a hundred hundred hundred more)

but they steal ninety-nine.

The school and the culture

separate the head from the body.

They tell the child:

to think without hands

to do without reasoning

to listen and not to speak

to understand without joy

to love and to marvel

only at Easter and at Christmas.

They tell the child:

to discover the world already there

and of the hundred

they steal ninety-nine.

They tell the child:

that work and play

reality and fantasy

science and imagination

sky and earth

reason and dream

are things

that do not belong together.

And thus they tell the child

that the hundred languages do not exist.

But the child says, again and again:

No way. The hundred is here.


Curious: Guide to a Creative & Balanced Education at Home

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Hi! I'm Quel Bellastella

I’m an art educator, a theatre-maker and a mum of two very wild boys.

I dream of a world where everyone of us is encouraged to be curious and create

- from day one.