A selection of children’s ingenuity for Inspiration

Oftentimes adults seek to inspire children, especially in educational settings, to learn, to discover, to know what we already know and would like children to know too. We often forget however, just how inspired and inspiring children already are.  This post is then a thinly veiled propaganda piece, a note to remind adults, to wonder, do we take children’s perspectives seriously? Do we allow their ingenuity to inspire us?

skateboardphoto

Where photographer, Matej Peljhan and 12 year old Luka team up for a series of photographs, based on the imagination of Luka who suffers from muscular dystrophy. The series shows the boy doing things he in reality only imagines doing, because of his condition. He can however use his fingers to drive a wheelchair and to draw, and of course collaborate with Matej for this inspiring series.

kyeledra

Kelydra Welcker is serious about water pollution in her area. She lives near the Ohio River and discovered that ammonium perfluorooctanoate, a chemical  was polluting the river and killing fish. She has developed an approach for both the detection and removal of the pollution in a simple and cost effective way. She is now in college, and aims to see her solution rolled out to the market over the next 5 years. She says on Popular Mechanics  “I hope people understand that science isn’t just people in white lab coats speaking gibberish,” “Scientists are real people who want to make a positive impact on their world.”

boyinbookstore

On seeing this wistful photograph on @historicalpics, of a boy reading in a ruined bookshop in London, after a night of heavy bombing in 1940, I had to think of the eery parallel with Syria now, where this week the startling number of 1 million children refugees was reached. 1 million displaced children, what does that mean for their future. For anyone interested in how children’s education is affected during war and who does something to fill the gap, check out the wonderful INEE, an international education in emergencies platform

meredith-portrait

On a brighter note, Meredith age 4  wished to show her insides here, using red and transparent plastic in this  self-portrait. This is  from a group called Reggio Children, on Pinterest, based on the ground breaking approach working with children in Italy after WW2. Reggio Emilia exhibition called The Hundred Languages of Children has been telling the story of the Reggio Emilia educational experience worldwide to thousands of visitors for over thirty years. The Reggio Emilia approach is  significant due to it’s emergent curriculum and the way educators document the works made by children.

braille

Ever wondered how the Braille reading system for the blind works or who invented it? It was invented by Louis Braille at the age of 15 in 1829.  The Braille alphabet uses a format of six raised dots in two parallel rows whereby each letter in the Roman alphabet is represented by a a different configuration of dots up and down. The huge advantage of Braille above the systems used before Louis invented it is that you can read and write braille, not just read.

In the “Century of the Child: Growing by Design 1900-2000, from MOMA they argue that children are ‘design activists in their own right, pushing against imaginative and physical limitations and constantly re-creating the world as they see it, using whatever equipment they happen to have at hand.”

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This piece is inspired and informed by children, Maria PopovaChristopher Jobson,
I have endeavored to correctly attribute images and quotes to their creators and original sources, while creating a readable article, if you see something on Unexpect which is wrongly named or quoted, or would like removed for some reason, please contact me. 

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