When it comes to the Reggio Emilia approach, what is a provocation?
Put simply, provocations provoke! They provoke thoughts, discussions, questions, interests, creativity and ideas. They can also expand on a thought, project, idea and interest.
Provocations can come in many forms:
- An interesting photo, picture or book,
- Nature (e.g. specimens)
- Conceptual (e.g. changing seasons, light)
- Old materials displayed in a new way,
- An interest that a child or children have,
- An object (e.g. magnets, maps)
- New creative mediums,
- Questions (from any source – i.e. What is gravity?)
- An event (e.g. a presentation, a holiday)
Provocations can be as simple as a photo of a rock sculpture next to some pebbles or as elaborate as a table with an assortment of recycled materials next to a book on robots and resources to make upcycled robots. Often though, provocations are simple and displayed beautifully to provoke interest.
Similar to strewing, they are usually created as an option, not as a premeditated activity.
Ultimately, the intention of provocations is to provide an invitation for a child to explore and express themselves. It should be open-ended and provide a means for expression where possible.
Thank you for reading!