For our final session of this year’s Creating Spaces for Playful Inquiry professional learning series, we focused on the Hundred Languages – a grounding element of the educational approach from the childcare centres in Reggio Emilia, Italy. The Hundred Languages concept is based on a poem by Loris Malaguzzi who suggests that all children have a hundred languages (or more) in which to express themselves and that are role as educators (and school systems) is to nurture these languages, not suppress them.
As Richmond educators entered the room, they were invited to they were asked to reflect on how the hundred languages are living in their classrooms.
The Richmond educators who visited Opal School in Portland over spring break shared their reflections on the experience through documentation panels.
Carrie Bourne, Jen Yager and Julie Curran shared what they learned at Opal and how they have taken some of these ideas up in their own teaching contexts.
Marie Thom and I shared some of our experiences from our Canadian Study Tour of Reggio Emilia in March. I shared some ideas I saw about intersecting digital and analog languages through digital landscapes and Marie shared the power of the language of food and the metaphor of the table to bring people together.
After dinner together (enacting the table metaphor) our interest groups met with playful inquiry mentors to share ideas and go deeper with their understanding about playful inquiry.
We collected feedback from educators who have attended this three part series as we reflect on our learning from this year and think ahead to next year.
“Love the opportunity to collaborate with others and hear others share about their thinking/learning and what they are trying in their classrooms. It is thought-provoking and inspiring.”
“Playful inquiry and teaching is a learning process, always growing and changing and best in collaboration with others teachers and peers.”
“This series has kept me inspired when I’ve felt uninspired or simply tired.”
“This series completely changed the lens through which I see my role as the teacher and the roles of the students.”
There was considerable interest in creating opportunities for teachers to visit others’ classrooms to see playful inquiry in action and to be able to collaborate with colleagues from across the district.
Regardless of how how things unfold for professional learning opportunities in our district for next year, we know we have a strong and growing community of educators committed to teaching and learning through playful inquiry. Thanks to all of the educators involved in this series for their contributions and participation!
~Janice on behalf of the Playful Inquiry Mentors