Red River College’s early childcare training took on a distinctly Italian flair last month, during a six-day conference aimed at teaching the value of the Reggio Emilia philosophy, and the importance of pedagogical research in early child development.
From April 20–25, students of RRC’s Early Childhood Education programs explored Reggio Emilia, a teaching method based on the principle that children are capable and competent, and should have some control over the direction of their learning.
Developed in Italy after the Second World War, the philosophy is making headway in Canadian schoos and daycares — transforming cultural assumptions about children and their intellectual abilities.
“What we want to achieve … is to see how other childcare centres in Winnipeg are benefitting from this type of early childhood education, and to also learn from the experts as to how we can further improve our implementation of the program and how to properly track children’s development through their early years,” says Sue Narozniak, Coordinator of Early Childhood Education at RRC, and chair of the Reggio Inspired Coalition of Educators.
During the conference, Italian childcare experts Filippini Tizianna and Laura Rubizzi (shown above) joined participants as they visited childcare centres across Winnipeg, where they evaluated programming and conducted roundtable discussions about Reggio Emilia and the importance of tracking children’s progress through the early years.
“Reggio-inspired teaching means listening, documenting and sharing those results with children, parents and other early childhood educators,” says Narozniak.
“It’s about giving some control and allowing children to choose their paths as they learn and develop. Our goal is to reinforce how important collecting that information is, and I am really excited that Filippini and Laura were able to make the trip.”
View a photo gallery of the conference’s keynote session on April 23.