Matthew Sampson-2018 Prime Minister's Awards for Excellence in Early Childhood Education

Certificate of Excellence Recipient, Peter Green Hall Children's Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Transcription – Matthew Sampson-2018 Prime Minister's Awards for Excellence in Early Childhood Education

[Black screen fades up to close-up of man in interview setting, against a mottled background. Music playing.]

[Caption: Matthew Sampson, Peter Green Hall Children’s Centre]

Matthew Sampson: If children are motivated, self-motivated, intrinsically motivated, their learning is so much deeper. I develop a relationship with them to help with their motivation. I need to understand what they’re already motivated about. I build on what they have done, because I follow emergent curriculum, which comes from the child, and just find a way to make their interests into the lesson.

[End of Matt speaking cuts to voice over with video of Matthew speaking into a microphone behind a podium addressing fellow recipients and then, as the voice over continues, to still photos, as follows: Matthew lying on the ground with several children sitting on top of and beside him; Matthew chasing a child around a group of seated children and adults; and Matthew sitting with a small boy at the top of a skateboard ramp, with other children playing below. Cut back to Matthew speaking in interview setting.]

Matthew Sampson: Well, the most important thing for any learning space is the reflection of the children—their thoughts, their ideas, their values, themselves in that learning space. They feel the pride, they feel the possibility of owning the knowledge themselves. They think, ‘You’re actually interested in my ideas, well, here’s another one.’ I can build on that. It needs to be a rich learning with materials from the real world. So, having acorns, metal pieces, nails, hammers, paper, paint, ink—that should all be available. But also there should be a connection to the Internet, and a recordable camera, so they can revisit what they’ve already learned or examine it deeper. I was recently challenged about blank walls in the classroom. The project that you put up on the blank wall is important. It’s significant. It is about the children.

[Cut to close-up video of Matthew smiling, back to the interview setting and then to Matthew making a presentation standing near a podium in front of a screen.]

Matthew Sampson: So what she did was take the pencil drawing that he had drawn, added some pink accents to it, and designed her own little schema of herself and called herself Queen Emily of the Zombies. And then, all of a sudden, Zombie World changed. It wasn’t just black and white anymore. It was a fully coloured world.

[Cut back to Matthew speaking in the interview setting.]

Matthew Sampson: But on the other hand, you want your walls, you want the environment, to engage the child, to reinforce the learning with other things that maybe they haven’t come up with. And, in that way, we keep artifacts of children’s learning in the space as well. Technology can be a great tool if you’re using it in a way that expands on their thoughts, expands on their theories, expands on their resources. But if it is the source of their information, then it becomes more of a barrier. It stops them from thinking and makes them think that Google has the answer. I don’t need to think for myself. So, technology is wonderful when it’s expanding, when it’s being used in conjunction with thought.

[Cut to video of Matthew seated and addressing fellow recipients, with voice over, and then voice over with still photo of Matthew in a play yard holding a smiling young boy in his arms. Cut back to Matthew speaking in interview setting.]

Matthew Sampson: Don’t expect to go into the room and be the expert. Go into the room and learn, learn about who these people are, because they are people; they’re citizens. Learn about what they want to learn about. Learn about what you want to learn about. I guess, just open yourself up to try something you’ve never tried before. And, if you think you know the answer, don’t ever, ever let it escape your lips because their answer might be a better answer than your answer.

[Fade to black.]

[Cut to white screen, with the Government of Canada FIP followed by the Canada Wordmark.]

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