Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Where we're at: Report on ELECT in our Sector

There are those who embrace change as a new and exciting opportunity for growth, and those who find comfort in the safety of the status-quo. Where do you stand?

Coffee Grounds Mud, leaves, rocks and sticks= dinosaur habitat!
Sheri-Anne Giggey (from our program) recently presented at a messy play workshop/share session at the November CMAS conference in Toronto, where it became apparent that there are still numbers of Educators working in our LINC programs who are resistant to the ELECT principals- they sited reasons such as; 
  • It is too much paperwork, no time to do it;
  • we have all the craft ideas for Theme Based Programming already, why change;
  • We want to do ELECT but our Supervisor won't let us - or- I want to do it but the other staff won't support me- how do I convince others?
  • I'm too old to change the way I do things. Too old to learn a new system.
  • ELECT , especially Emergent Programming is too hard to explain to the parents.
  • There is no time to involve parents in the program/ it's a scheduling issue.
  • We don't have paid time to do this extra work.
 Of course, those in the "embrace change" camp have no issues, in fact they are finding ELECT to be the most educationally and creativity liberating system to come along in years. 
Yes, it is a messy system. Often it is hard to find the order in the chaos until the end of the day when you can stop and think about where you have been, the adventures you went on, how they connected and what you will do tomorrow. You think about all the things that you came up with because of something someone said or did that sparked an idea. You realise how much dynamic programming might have missed if you were still running a Theme Based Program.

I was recently at an art convention (professional illustrators) workshop and 'emergent' is exactly the process of collaboration and creativity that they go through; the very process that results in the movies and TV shows we all love to see, in the great architecture we admire, and in the discovery of cures to disease.

Given the freedom to grow, the freedom to think creatively -  unfettered by change resistant Educators, perhaps the children we have in our care now will be curing Cancer in the future.

Coffee Mud
1/2 cup of coffee grounds 1/8 teaspoon vegetable glycerin (or shaved clear soap) 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 2 tablespoons cream of tartar 1 cup of very hot coffee 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil optional: 1 tablespoon instant coffee *Glycerine is optional too but it will make things smoother


  1. Thank you do much for posting this. I love the way the "mud" looks with the materials selected!

    1. Maria Neves-Pantano, RECE, OEYC Ottawa SouthMonday, December 03, 2012 2:00:00 pm

      Really like the idea and the way it is set up. Just wondering about how long it keeps. Am assuming that the cream of tartar helps it last. Do you leave it uncovered?

    2. Hi, Ann here- this site is rejecting my profile for some reason so I shall answer under anonymous! we too love this material, for it's recycle qualities as well as it's viseral qualities- it is also easy to get the parents involved with making and playing in it.
      As to how long it lasts- just about the same as regular dough. Any of these home made doughs have a finite shelf life that is dependant on if it is kept in the fridge, if it is left out(will dry out) or if it is spit in or otherwise contaminated by bodily fluids! Isn't our job glamouous!!!!
      Ann Hutchings RECE


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