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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET Introduction  one particularly significant visit, Miriam was at her college’s center with students. Upon entering the classroom, the students noticed skin-colored art materials attractively displayed on a small table. Miriam told the stu- dents the classroom teachers set up the materials as a provocation. The term provocation is used by teachers working in Reggio Emilia, Italy, who place intriguing, challenging, or surprising materials in the environment as a way to provoke or stretch children’s thinking. Provocations are not orga- nized activities; they are materials simply—but intentionally—placed in the environment. Once in place, the teachers wait expectantly to observe how the children respond to them. Miriam continued to facilitate the class discussion about the prov- ocations. The students observed the children sorting and classifying the skin-colored materials on the table, and they discussed how this related to Jean Piaget’s cognitive development theory. Piaget’s theory reveals how children understand differences and similarities as they accommodate new information—in this case, by sorting and classifying skin-colored materi- als. Miriam clarified that this is Piaget’s concept of how children connect new information to previous knowledge. During the observation, one child commented, “Dark skin comes from mud” while exploring the materials. Miriam explained that children have preconceived ideas based on encounters with previous information. The students were able to connect the child’s comment with Piaget’s theory— their observation illustrated how a provocation can build upon children’s thinking and increase the children’s knowledge about skin colors. Miriam also brought up how Lev Vygotsky emphasizes the importance of language and conversations in promoting learning. A student asked if children dis- criminate at a young age. This question prompted Miriam to introduce the work of Louise Derman-Sparks and anti-bias education (ABE), which sup- ports children’s identity development and promotes justice, equality, and inclusion. As the discussion continued, Miriam invited students to think further about the theories by introducing a variety of inquiry questions: “What theory do you think the teachers used as they selected the art materials in the demonstration environment? What other selections can be added to promote Maslow’s concept of self-actualization through creativity? How is Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences (MI theory) integrated into the different spaces?” These kinds of inquiry questions challenge students to practically apply the theories learned in class. After this observation, students shared with Miriam that the theories were starting to make sense. Their comments revealed a new apprecia- tion for having a deep knowledge of the science of child development. The COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL   5