Interview between Agnes and her three-year-old daughter Harriet
Agnes: What is a teacher?
Harriet: Well … a grown up who teaches kids how to spell their names. Like this: H-A-R-R-I-E-T. And they give them a stamp.
A: What is learning?
H: Well … I learn about dragons. You teach them how to fly … Like that [points to words I am writing] says ‘dragon’ and ‘fly’.
A: What else have you learnt about?
H: Books. My animal books. I’ll show you [brings over ‘The Human Body’]. Here’s a heavy book about bones. The book teaches blood cells how to go ‘beep beep’ and fight something if you are hurt by ants or sick or when you bump yourself. I learn how to eat and talk and how to make my bones walk when I am going home … [When I was a baby] I cannot walk. I need to learn how to read. I could rip things. But I have big bones now. I learned about sniffing flowers. I learned not to rip things. I learned not to be a baby. If I play, it makes me happy.
A: What did mummy and daddy teach you?
H: Mummy and Daddy taught me how to walk and smell things and listen and sit in my own chair. And about my different bones.
A: Who else teaches you?
H: My teachers – Mrs Magda and Miss Jess [at childcare]. Sometimes I say, ‘I need to go to the toilet’ to my teachers. They teach me how to do that. And I learnt to say to dragons, Don’t eat me, don’t eat me’.
A: What do you still need to learn?
H: I need to learn how to eat tomatoes. I don’t eat them now.