Recently, teachers and friends of Campbell House were happily reunited with Dr Stefania Giamminuti, an inspiring speaker that the attendees of the Reggio Emilia Australia Information Exchange Biannual Conference in July were in awe of upon their return. She has been warmly welcomed into our Geelong College community to act as a critical friend with whom to generate ideas and cultivate curiosity in curriculum design. Her presentation Beauty, Memory, Research and Artistry: In Dialogue with Reggio Emilia was both poetic and inspiring.
Together with Dr Giamminuti, the team explored instruction as an art: a process of design and research. They considered the process of planning for learning as a constellation of broad dimensions. An opportunity that allows for the nurturing of student voice, ideas and thoughtful processing of the overarching concepts that as a community we hold so dear: Beauty, Memory, Research and Artistry.
Dr Giamminuti also asked contributors to reflect on the ways that learning experiences respectfully acknowledge that children bring with them their own understandings. She challenged staff to think about the words used to name experiences with not only children, but also the wider community. “Your words hold power, and the way that you think is influenced by the words that you use to describe the experience of learning”.
Dr Giamminuti also gave the team an opportunity to ground themselves in the familiarity of the connection between Junior School values and the Reggio Emilia Project. She allowed the rekindling of the knowledge that we are never truly looking for an answer through our pedagogical, action based research. Instead, we are in a constant state of renewal, looking for a means through which to gain deeper understanding of our students and ourselves, not only as learners, but also as researchers and citizens of our community.
The team look eagerly towards future dialogue with Dr Giamminuti as we continue our journey with the Reggio-Emilia inspired experience here at Campbell House.
Written by Emma Watters, Year 3 Teacher at The Geelong College.