Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The World Reggio Emilia Travelling Expedition

Back in the end of November of last year, I had the opportunity to attend the Reggio Emilia Travelling Expedition Professional Day Development workshop in New Westminster focusing on literacy. I absolutely loved discovering what the children were doing in their learning environments.

Somethings I learned from the exhibition that I can remember...
  • Trust the children!
  • Pedagogy of Listening - What happens during the day is not just focused on playing but on listening to each other; interplay of 'relationship and listening'
  • Pedagogy of Relationship - Important to create the space, a community, culture, and family with the world
  • Power of documentation - What deeper meaning does it have for children? Where do the children's work lead to?
  • Image of Child - Capable, inventive, and full of interesting ideas; Competent, capable of leading and suggestions
  • Teachers - Teach the 'now' and not the future; Have the image of the child as the role of the teacher
  • Environment and materials - acts as a third teacher 
  • Celebrate students as producers - What do I really value with children? i.e., beauty, materials
  • Parents have a huge say in what's going on!
What I really appreciate about the Reggio philosophy is that learning in an organic, inquisitive, and curiosity driven process which is what I studied at school - inquiry based learning. What I really love is the emphasis on the use of imagination, questioning, and acknowledging the process and not just the end product. From the Reggio classrooms that I have visited, many artworks produced by each child looked different and that's because it came from their own creative inputs with the materials supplied thus truly capturing the essence of the child's ability at the moment. This is in contrast where I had shown students an artwork that I had already created and guided the children to follow along the steps that I took to take mine. While it is important for young children to be able to follow directions, I also realized it is important to give them opportunities to create and to represent their thinking in their own ways and to document the dialogues and process. Children are learning each and every second and a snapshot of a child's progress is only a minuscule perspective of what they are capable of. I believe in the potentiality of all my students regardless and I believe talking or sharing about our learning processes allows us to care for one another and grow into a community where students listen to one another and develop those relationships.

I took many more pictures but unfortunately they are all gone because I broke my Macbook earlier last year and lost everything. These were the only images I could obtain my phone that I recently found...

Wonderful presenters...Susan & Sue
The focus of the Reggio Emilia philosophy of school.
Children being creative and making their own instruments.
Wishing Tree - what a great idea!
Exploring and playing with light, abstracts, and different objects!
Children coming up with ideas to create a light catching machine.
Here's a sample!

Exploring natural art!
Mock Setup of a Classroom Space

A recommended book to read into!

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