The Hundred Languages of Children

by Loris Malaguzzi

The child is made of one hundred.
The child has a hundred languages
A hundred hands
A hundred thoughts
A hundred ways of thinking
Of playing
Of speaking.
A hundred, always a hundred ways of
Of marveling, of loving
A hundred joys
For singing and understanding
A hundred worlds to discover
A hundred worlds to invent
A hundred worlds to dream.
The child has a hundred languages
(and a hundred hundred hundred more)
but they steal ninety-nine.
The school and the culture separate the head from the body.
They tell the child to think without hands,
To do without head,
To listen and not to speak,
To understand without joy,
To love and marvel only at Easter and Christmas.
They tell the child to discover the world
already there.
And of the hundred they steal ninety-nine.
They tell the child that work and play,
Reality and fantasy,
Science and imagination,
sky and earth,
reason and dream
are things that do not belong together.
And thus they tell the child that the hundred is not there.
The child says: no way. The hundred is