Deborah Halls, MEd, OCT

Deborah Halls enjoys music. She is also a Full-Day Kindergarten teacher with the Toronto District School Board.  I first met Deborah at the Ontario Reggio Association pedagogical documentation sessions at York University.  She brings such thoughtful work revealing theories and thinking of children - which always piques my interest.

Deborah has contributed to the Ontario landscape of pedagogical documentation in her practice and shares her classroom experiences in presentations, videos and publications. She generously acknowledges that her understandings and participation working with pedagogical documentation happen in relationship. In a conversation with me she noted that, “I depend on my colleagues for their input. Sometimes I am too close to see other things.” She represents a truly transparent and collaborative approach to teaching and learning with young children using pedagogical documentation.

Deborah coauthored a chapter in Carol Anne Wien’s book, Emergent Curriculum in the Primary Classroom: Interpreting the Reggio Emilia Approach in Schools, with artist-educator Vanessa Barnett. Their work is titled, Wire Bicycles: A Journey with Galimoto. Deborah and Vanessa tell how, after being inspired by the “The Hundred Languages of Children” exhibit in Toronto in 2006-2007, they introduced wire as a medium for the communication of ideas for the children in Deborah’s class. In this project the children’s enthusiastic interest in bicycles was sustained as they  were offered the opportunity to translate their understandings into wire compositions, drawings, and eventually a full sized bicycle sculpture! The pedagogical documentation of this experience provides an opportunity to study children’s thinking and feelings within this expansive process.

I have heard Carol Anne Wien comment that, “Deborah Halls has a wonderful sense of seeing what children have in mind.”  I definitely agree. Thank you for your work Deborah.
Halls, D., O'Reilly, L., & Yim, L. Facilitated by Mary Patrick. (2014, February). Planning for Literacy in the Full-Day Kindergarten Program: How Inquiry and Project Based Experiences Can Promote Literacy Learning. Reading for the love of it. Toronto, Ontario.
Barnett, V., & Halls, D. (2008).  Wire bicycles: A journey with Galimoto. In C.A. Wien (Ed.),Emergent curriculum in the primary classroom: Interpreting the Reggio Emilia approach in schools (pp. 52-63). New York: Teachers College Press.
Halls, D., & Wien, C.A. (Spring, 2013). “The wind goes inside of me”: Kindergarten children’s theories about running fast. Canadian Children: Journal of the Canadian Association for Young Children, 38(1), pp. 4-10.


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