“Knowing where you are, where you find yourself, helps you to develop a sense of your own identity and your place in the world… Every place has its own spirit, its own past and its own aspirations.” Jerome Bruner
This past weekend, our Lower Elementary faculty, as part of a group of 50 colleagues from all over the Asia Pacific region, engaged in specialized professional development entitled ‘Listening to Learning in the Early Years, Pedagogical encounters between our own contexts and the ideas of Reggio Emilia.’ The workshop explored some of the ideas that underpin the pedagogical experience of Reggio Emilia, a district in Northern Italy which has over the last 4 decades worked to develop an approach to early childhood education that is regarded as best practice the world over. The Reggio Emilia approach at its core sees each child as competent and capable. Listening to children’s thoughts and ideas, careful documentation of their thinking and creating environments that all students to extend their thinking all form a part of this approach.
We were very fortunate to have the workshop facilitated by renowned Early Years consultant Fiona Zinn. Drawing on 25 years experience in the early childhood, primary and tertiary sectors, Fiona consults widely with International Schools around the world to boldly re-imagine early years and primary pedagogy, curriculum and learning environments in response to research.
“Development between birth and 8 years old is regarded as a ‘time of remarkable brain growth that lays the foundation for subsequent learning and development.” UNESCO, 2009.
The workshop provided much food for thought. It validated many of the excellent practices we already have in place in our setting and gave the faulty the opportunity to examine how we can continue to grow and develop all that we do in the Lower Elementary school.
Have a lovely weekend,
Deputy Principal, Lower Elementary