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Surprising Destinations

A Guide to Essential Learning in Early Childhood

By Beth Giacalone, Mary K Glover

    Reading this book is a virtual trip to the Awakening Seed. It enables the reader to experience the joy, the sense of community, and the vigorous learning environment that I encountered on my trip to the school.
    —Bobbi Fisher
Developing a sense of adventure in learning can make all the difference between teaching incipient lifelong learners or struggling with apathetic students. In this engaging book, Mary Glover and Beth Giacalone recount how a buddy-reading project between preschoolers and first/second graders became a yearlong vehicle for developing multiple literacies, life values, and
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    Reading this book is a virtual trip to the Awakening Seed. It enables the reader to experience the joy, the sense of community, and the vigorous learning environment that I encountered on my trip to the school.
    —Bobbi Fisher
Developing a sense of adventure in learning can make all the difference between teaching incipient lifelong learners or struggling with apathetic students. In this engaging book, Mary Glover and Beth Giacalone recount how a buddy-reading project between preschoolers and first/second graders became a yearlong vehicle for developing multiple literacies, life values, and enthusiasms of all sorts. They provide a glimpse of early childhood education at its best.

Surprising Destinations offers a model for a refreshing, thought-provoking approach to early childhood curriculum that integrates art, science, gardening, celebrations, intergenerational program involvement, community service projects, and human rights study. Incorporating a year’s worth of ideas, suggestions, survival tips, and vignettes, it shows how "buddy study" time nurtures literacy in the traditional and broader human sense—how it emphasizes humanitarian qualities of respectfulness, kindness, compassion, and responsibility. You’ll see how these two classes of children ended up being buddies in greater ways than even the teachers envisioned. And the surprising and joyful destinations they ultimately reached reveal what can happen when curriculum and teaching practices support this kind of learning.

At a time of deep educational unrest and standards-driven curriculums, Glover and Giacalone offer an alternative to our collective vision of schooling, inviting other educators to work together, reflect on their teaching practices, and pursue interests as teacher researchers.

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