Reggio Conference 2012
The second EtonHouse Education Centre (EEC) conference with speakers directly from Reggio Emilia in Northern Italy was held at the Concorde Hotel in April in Singapore 26th – 28th April.
The conference delegation numbered 400 from 14 different countries across the Asia Pacific region and provided for us an important opportunity to think (deeply) about our practice. Paola Cagliari and Ivana Soncini, both leaders in the pedagogical co-ordinating team in Reggio Emilia, supported our understanding about pedagogical documentation; deepened our thinking about intentional teaching in a negotiated curriculum and provided us with opportunities to reflect on our work with special rights children. We were privileged, through video sessions, to ‘see inside’ the infant and toddler centres and preschools in Reggio Emilia and to learn more about the pedagogical principles that underpin this world acknowledged best practice.
Lorraine Manuela, from the New Zealand Reggio Children International Network (REANZ) talked about the New Zealand experience in interpreting the pedagogical principles of Reggio Emilia and highlighted her experience in using photographic documentation to support children’s (and their teacher’s) reflection on their learning. Saturday’s conference panel focused on how Singaporean educators are working with reference to the principles of Reggio Emilia.
Conference delegates were deeply inspired and motivated by the speakers. This enthusiasm to take action around enhancing the quality of the learning environment, and teaching practice is a true reflection of the quality teaching we have come to expect from Reggio Emilia.
- Heather Conroy, Executive Director of Pedagogy
Highlights of the conference
Guest of Honour, Acting Minister MCYS, Mr. Chan Chun Sing
To read a copy of the speech made by Mr. Chan at the opening, please click on the link below
Lead speakers from Reggio Emilia, Italy
- Paola Cagliari, Director of Pre-schools and Infant-toddler Centres Istituzione of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia
- Ivana Soncini, Psychologist and Pedagogist, Pre-schools and Infant-toddler Centres Istituzione of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia
- Jane McCall, Interpreter from Reggio Emilia
Speakers from the Reggio Children International Network
Lorraine Manuela, Director of Tots Corner Early Learning Centre, Auckland New Zealand
Speakers from EtonHouse Singapore
Heather Conroy, Executive Director of Pedagogy, EtonHouse
Ng Shu Ping, Assistant Pre-School Director, EtonHouse Vanda
Speakers from Child at Street 11, Singapore and Yokahama International School, Japan
The EtonHouse Education Centre has been working towards strengthening our collaboration with the Reggio Emilia Educational Project and we are pleased to again host speakers directly from Reggio Emilia.
This is a unique opportunity to listen to and engage with representatives from Reggio Emilia, Italy, hailed by Newsweek magazine as one of the best forms of early childhood education in the world.
Provocations in Practice
- Documentation as an assessment tool
- Children with special rights
- Education continuity from pre-school to elementary school
In 2005, the founder and Group Managing Director of the EtonHouse group, Mrs. Ng Gim Choo, visited Reggio Emilia, a small community in Northern Italy, well known for the high quality of its infant and toddler centres and pre-schools. She was immediately impressed by the aesthetically beautiful learning environments and the many outstanding examples of documentation which shared the process of learning with children and parents and also supported teachers in studying their pedagogy.
Since that time, EtonHouse has invested heavily in building teacher understanding of the significance of documentation as a learning/teaching tool. Teachers across several EtonHouse pre-schools in Singapore and Asia, supported by the EtonHouse Executive Director of Pedagogy, have engaged in the complex process of studying their teaching via pedagogical documentation – working as teacher observers in their classrooms to document episodes of learning and teaching for further analysis.
Numbers of EtonHouse teachers have also visited Reggio Emilia to extend their understanding of this educational approach either as participants of the study tours organised to bring International groups together; as delegates to conferences or again as participants at summer schools in Reggio. EtonHouse Tokyo and EtonHouse Malaysia as new additions to the EtonHouse group (both opened in 2010) have environments specifically planned according to the principles of the Reggio Emilia approach to education.
In March 2010, EtonHouse and AECES (Association of Early Childhood Educators in Singapore) entered into a collaboration which saw the first Reggio Children conference in the Asia Pacific region. With approximately 400 delegates from 11 different countries, as well as local delegates, this conference was a huge success ensuring that participants built understanding of the approach from colleagues directly from Reggio Emilia, whose lived experience of the early childhood settings has a strong sense of integrity. Conference speakers Amelia Gambetti and Emanuela Vercalli had also been integral in the development of the Reggio Children International Network, which aims to unite across the world those teachers inspired by and desiring to strengthen their pedagogy in relation to the Reggio Emilia Approach. Representatives of the International Network held an inaugural meeting prior to the commencement of the 2010 conference. This meeting was chaired by Amelia Gambetti for the purpose of strengthening ties between Reggio inspired settings within the Asia Pacific.
Now two years later, EtonHouse has the privilege to again convene a conference for those inspired by and interested to learn more about this approach. We are excited to welcome the following speakers directly from Reggio Emilia:
- Paola Cagliari - Director of Pre-schools and Infant-toddler Centres, Istituzione of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia
- Ivana Soncini – participating member of the co-ordinating team of the infant and toddler centres and pre-schools in the Municipality of Reggio Emilia
The speakers will together facilitate conference dialogue focusing on pedagogical documentation to over 400 delegates from Singapore, China, India, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Malaysia to name a few. Our speakers will share their experience of working in and co-ordinating teaching teams within these world renowned infant and toddler centres and preschools. The conference programme will also include the participation of other international and local teachers working with the inspirations of Reggio Emilia within an Asian context. “We feel the participation of teachers working with the principles of the Reggio Emilia approach within the Asian region will both challenge and inspire colleagues to give considered thought to the way they work not only children, but also their families and the community” Heather Conroy, Executive Director of Pedagogy at EtonHouse.
26-28th April 2011, Concorde Hotel, 100 Orchard Rd., Singapore