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Crossroads for Learning Retreat : December 7, 2013


Small Workgroup Discussions

A. Discuss what you think has been accomplished with exploring Reggio in Chicago Area

B. Discuss issues with exploring Reggio within your context and the Chicago Area.

C. List threats to pursuing this REA

D. List opportunities for pursuit of this REAE. If you had to choose three goals for working together on this approach, what they might be?

     a. What content areas need to be focused on?

     b. What learning strategies, activities or experiences best help support our work adapting and adopting the REA.

     c. What resources would be beneficial for you?


Common themes from the notes taken at the retreat:

- Explaining the approach to parents

- Power point presentation that could be universally used with key components

- Network of centers

- List of centers could be created and included in this could be a description of what principles that center is working on.

- Visiting each other’s centers

- Conferences each year at a different center so you can see different schools. Also encouraging people to see programs       outside ofIllinois.

- Documentation

- Could Book Vine be a resource?

- Better understanding of studies

- Getting support from administrators

- Lella’s presentation in February may help.

- Focus groups for specific groups like (English language learners, special needs, infant and toddler, elementary, preschool) - Share work with larger community

- Seminar with an exhibit focusing on the city

- Finding time to meet and talk about/think about the children’s work

- Validating qualitative data

- Articulating value of constructivism, play-based, inquiry-based, collaborative learning

- Finding a balance between directive and hands-off .

- Example of material exploration, dialogue with children etc.

- Revisit…why are you exploring this approach? One mentioned how it is a state of mind.

- What does a Reggio inspired environment look like?

  STRATEGY – Choose a few topics that have been more prominent and have them be a focus area for a mini-conference       March/April.


Beginning ideas for an action plan based on ideas from the retreat:


(1) Have an annual mini-conference with site changing each year so educators can tour different programs; place donates space for a day. This idea is also included in number 4. relating to a professional development plan.


(2) Columbia College offers a seminar on the Study of the City with eight sessions over a 15 week period. We hope to then plan for an exhibit of the work to be presented in spring or winter of 2015 (It will take time to look at documentation from diverse settings; about eight sites will be involved in the seminar on Thursday nights). This would be a traveling exhibit that would be hosted in various places throughout Chicago such as a bank building, Pilsen neighborhood, Hyde Park Art Center, downtown, etc. We anticipate less than 1/3 the space of the Wonder of Learning (which was 5,000 sq. ft. minimum); ours would be about 1,000 sq. ft., which is approximately the size of two classrooms. We need do a cost projection. How can we assure this Crossroad exhibit will contain Reggio ideals and what we are doing? Through connecting with and representing experiences from the Seminar on the City, we hope to exhibit work that remains within the ideals of Reggio as experienced within our context.


(3) Create a PowerPoint to introduce Reggio ideals, principles and practices within our context to parents.


(4) Create a formal plan for professional development. After looking at the timeline for professional development activities, it was decided March or April would be the best time for our mini-conference. 7


(5) Have additional specialized meetings-sessions within the year. (i.e. Focus on special rights, elementary education, the role of administrators, etc.)