24 July 2013

Reggio Emilia

A friend drew my attention to something yesterday and I wanted to pass on the word. Though many of you following PlayFull do not live in Chicago, I thought I'd share the following initiative as a great example: 
Play is a culture-changing force! 
The initiative involves assembling a team of civic leaders, educators, and experts in early childhood to travel to Reggio-Emilia, Italy to learn about a unique educational approach that was developed there as a response to the cultural upheaval in the aftermath of World War II. The educational philosophy developed there sounds similar to the Montessori approach: it is based on "principles of respect, responsibility, and community through exploration and discovery," according to this Wikipedia article
Read the invitation below from Jennifer Farrington, President and CEO of the Chicago Children's Museum. 
Be inspired and--if you are truly interested--join in! - Troy

From Jennifer Farrington:
Although this may seem more than a bit off-topic, I have been delighted by the number of folks in this group who are passionate about urban education, the arts, food, and frankly, Italy :) so I am sharing this opportunity with you. Please feel free to forward and share with potentially interested parties. The deadline for registration is quickly approaching (August 1) so this is my last effort to get the word out there and get the strongest multi-disciplinary team possible:
Chicago has been offered a tremendous opportunity to assemble a team of civic leaders, educators, advocates, academics, librarians, and experts in early childhood to travel, as a team, to Reggio-Emilia for a unique study tour to learn about transforming our city into a healthy and vibrant place for young children to grow and thrive. This study tour has been assembled by the Association of Children’s Museums, Wheelock College, and Louisiana Children’s Museum. Unlike most study tours to Reggio Emilia which focus on classroom teaching and learning, this facilitated tour has been developed for a multi-disciplinary team, and will focus bringing the learning back to American cities. New Orleans, Portland, Boston, and other cities are also forming teams. For full details, please see the information from Association of Children’s Museum below.
I traveled to Reggio for a similar program about ten years ago and consider it one of the most amazing weeks of my career and my life. Truly transformative. I strongly encourage anyone interested in education and the health of cities to consider it. While I am not the official organizer of the trip, and all registration and travel arrangements are done independently, I do plan to participate in the trip and would like to coordinate some opportunities for communication before and after the trip so that we might maximize the possibilities for collaboration! I am hoping that interested parties might be available to join a call next THURSDAY, July 25th at 2PM to connect and “meet” by phone. Please let me know if you’re interested in the trip and we’ll go from there.
Jennifer Farrington
President and CEO
Chicago Children's Museum
Navy Pier • 700 E. Grand Ave., Suite 127 • Chicago, IL 60611
p: 312-464-7659

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