Sightlines Initiative

promoting creative and reflective practice in early childhood education

** NEWS & SHORTCUTS **

2020-21 Conferences & Seminars

(including Reggio Study visits)

Reggio Approach E-Learning

N.B:
Seminars: 10% discounts for Network Members & Newslist subscribers
Digital Learning Toolbox: 15% discounts for Network Members & Newslist subscribers

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Events Archive

Bicycles & Bricks, Vision & Determination ~

Online Conference set:  narratives of the real and possible in shaping education

Seminar Two: Walking on threads of Silk

Marina Castagnetti, Reggio Children


shoe 0002a“How can you measure your jumps?” asks Marina. Tomasso’s jump is four ‘feet’ long. Now Marina measures Tommaso’s jump with her foot, and it’s three ‘feet.’ Marco and Daniela jump next.Marina Castagnetti is delighted to be discussing her in-depth experiences as a teacher working closely with Loris Malaguzzi at a formative time of Reggio’s preschools.

shoe 0002bEvery time the teacher measures the jumps, they get shorter. But finally everyone discovers the trick: “your foot is bigger and it takes up more space. We have little feet.” We hope that this experience has helped the children to better understand the ambiguity.

"For those of us who have continued on the road mapped by Malaguzzi and many others, participating in the educational project with enthusiasm, hard work and creativity has always been like ‘walking on threads of silk’, keeping a fine balance and often at risk of falling, not as poetic as the quote would make it seem.
It means having the courage to take decisions even if they go against the flow, when there is a risk of making mistakes, being exposed to potential error because the situation is not clear. It means ‘avoiding opportunist and obsequious attitudes towards authority’, discussing and exchanging points of view constantly with other realities, trying to evolve from situations that appear stagnant and irresolvable."

Marina C2bMarina Castagnetti was a teacher with children aged 3 to 6 at the municipal preschool "Diana" in Reggio Emilia from 1982 to 1999.

She was part of the historical working group of the Diana school collaborating with Loris Malaguzzi and Vea Vecchi in numerous educational projects of the exhibition “The Hundred Languages of Children.” She coordinated the archives and activities of the Documentation and Educational Research Centre of the Preschools and Infant-toddler Centres of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia from 2000 to 2016, and currently participates in Reggio Children’s international consultancy and professional formation consulting projects.
reggio logo3She has participated as a speaker in numerous conferences, seminars, training courses, study days, both in Italy and abroad on the Reggio Emilia Approach (Austria, Brazil, China, South Korea, Croatia, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, Philippines, Germany, Japan, India, Israel, Norway, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal, United Kingdom, Russia, Spain, United States, South Africa, Sweden, Vietnam, Kuwait).

shoemeterThe focus on the project Shoe and Meter is a very rich proposal for her, as she worked intensively on this project probe at Diana Preschool with Loris Malaguzzi, and Vea Vecchi the atelierista at Diana preschool. The publication was also the first of Reggio Children’s, and so they paid particular attention to its concept and content.

It will enrich your participation to be familiar with this book, which is available from our bookshop and elsewhere.


2016 project 1These are times of possibility. Amidst calls and demands to ‘return to normal’ there are also many who have lost patience with the ‘old normal’ or have seen that other ways of living and learning are indeed preferable. Multitudes of educators, head teachers, parents and advocates are striving to protect and also develop possibilities for educational experiences with children’s rights, wellbeing and proclivities for natural enquiry at the heart.  

This online conference set of seminars is designed to nourish all those who are actively promoting and creating these ‘visions of the possible.'

 

The core frame of reference in these seminars is work of the preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy.   2020 is the centenary of Loris Malaguzzi’s birthday, the pedagogical teacher, psychologist and civic campaigner who worked closely throughout his life with Reggio Emilia’s emerging preschool services between 1945 - 95. Reggio’s preschools continue to be a tirelessly evolving example of an embodied vision for the future. 

We are also showcasing selected innovative educational experiences from other countries. We will consider these alternatives, in order to learn and ally with their experiences as we forge a new education for our children. 

The series culminates in a panel discussion with Peter Moss and others to consider the questions and possibilities that these generate, and the principles and directions which they imply for us. "

women's resistance 1944
building the preschool 1946 2

" It is the spring of 1945.
I hear that in a small village called Villa Cella, a few miles away from the town of Reggio Emilia, people decided to build and run a school for young children. That idea seems incredible to me! I rush there on my bike – I find women intent upon salvaging and washing pieces of brick …you have to agree that seeing an army tank, six horses and three trucks generating a school for young children is extra-ordinary. … [Reggio Emilia's] valuable (and continuing) history confirms that a new educational experience can emerge from the least expected circumstances. "
Loris Malaguzzi

the truck of the people LM summer fresco
 

Communicate with presenters prior to the presentations: When you register you will be given a link to write about your interests, foci, wishes, questions.

If you register before Friday 18th December these will be submitted to the various presenters. This will be helpful to them in honing their presentations and give them a sense of connection with you and your interests.

Date Thursday 21st January 2021
Price £40
Member Discount 10%
Presenters

Marina Castagnetti, Reggio Children

Please Note:

  • Recorded sessions: to support the participation of registrants in other time zones, we will be making recordings of the sessions available to registrants for a period of four days subsequent to the presentation.
  • Bicycles & Bricks, Vision & Determination ~ 

    Online Conference set:  narratives of the real and possible in shaping education

    Seminar One: Loris Malaguzzi's pedagogical influence and contemporary importance

    Professor Peter Moss, University College London


    centenario malaguzzi malaguzzi

    We celebrate this year the hundredth anniversary of the birth of a great educator, Loris Malaguzzi. Using Malaguzzi’s own words, I want to look at his contribution to early childhood education from three perspectives. I will talk about the historical, political and cultural context that shaped his life and work. I will discuss the multiple roles he played in the educational project of Reggio Emilia – which provoke us to think about the meaning of educational leadership and the type of management required for an innovative, democratic and dynamic public education system. And I will argue that he offers other important provocations to contemporary early childhood education, provocations that can enable us to envision a transformed early childhood education in England. At a time when hope is often in short supply, we can draw inspiration from his firm belief in the darkest of times for Italy that ‘everything seemed possible’.

    Peter Moss 06aPeter Moss is an Emeritus Professor at UCL Institute of Education, University College London. With colleagues in Reggio Emilia, he has edited the book ‘Loris Malaguzzi and the Schools of Reggio Emilia’, a collection of over 100 speeches and writings by Loris Malaguzzi from 1945 to 1993. His latest book is ‘Transforming Early Childhood in England: Towards a democratic education’, edited with Claire Cameron. He believes that Loris Malaguzzi can help us with the urgent task of transformation.


    2016 project 1These are times of possibility. Amidst calls and demands to ‘return to normal’ there are also many who have lost patience with the ‘old normal’ or have seen that other ways of living and learning are indeed preferable. Multitudes of educators, head teachers, parents and advocates are striving to protect and also develop possibilities for educational experiences with children’s rights, wellbeing and proclivities for natural enquiry at the heart.  

    This online conference set of seminars is designed to nourish all those who are actively promoting and creating these ‘visions of the possible.'

     

    The core frame of reference in these seminars is work of the preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy.   2020 is the centenary of Loris Malaguzzi’s birthday, the pedagogical teacher, psychologist and civic campaigner who worked closely throughout his life with Reggio Emilia’s emerging preschool services between 1945 - 95. Reggio’s preschools continue to be a tirelessly evolving example of an embodied vision for the future. 

    We are also showcasing selected innovative educational experiences from other countries. We will consider these alternatives, in order to learn and ally with their experiences as we forge a new education for our children. 

    The series culminates in a panel discussion with Peter Moss and others to consider the questions and possibilities that these generate, and the principles and directions which they imply for us. "

    women's resistance 1944
    building the preschool 1946 2

    " It is the spring of 1945.
    I hear that in a small village called Villa Cella, a few miles away from the town of Reggio Emilia, people decided to build and run a school for young children. That idea seems incredible to me! I rush there on my bike – I find women intent upon salvaging and washing pieces of brick …you have to agree that seeing an army tank, six horses and three trucks generating a school for young children is extra-ordinary. … [Reggio Emilia's] valuable (and continuing) history confirms that a new educational experience can emerge from the least expected circumstances. "
    Loris Malaguzzi

    the truck of the people LM summer fresco

    Communicate with presenters prior to the presentations: When you register you will be given a link to write about your interests, foci, wishes, questions.

    If you register before Friday 18th December these will be submitted to the various presenters. This will be helpful to them in honing their presentations and give them a sense of connection with you and your interests.

    Date Tuesday 19th January 2021
    Price £40
    Member Discount 10%
    Presenters

    Professor Peter Moss, University College London

    Please Note:

  • Recorded sessions: to support the participation of registrants in other time zones, we will be making recordings of the sessions available to registrants for a period of four days subsequent to the presentation.
  • Times 4 - 5.30pm
     ~ identifying and maximising the scope in the DfE 2020 ‘Development Matters’ for renewing professionalism and pedagogical culture ~

    An online conversation between Sightlines Initiative Network members representing centres in the private, maintained and voluntary sectors, FE/HE colleges, plus early years colleague Jan Dubiel, who played a significant part in creating the new guidance document.

    02 son doong cave.ngsversion.1600707022837.adapt.1190.1

    The new Development Matters is ‘thinner’ than previous documents which have constrained professionalism by over-programmatization. Our premiss is that there is an opportunity to seize in the thinness, in that the spaces give room for developing a new depth of pedagogical culture by individual settings that are researchful and motivated. Our aim is to identify where there are breathing spaces to work professionally and researchfully, without defending against hidebound strictures.

    There is equal need and scope for FE and HE colleges to provide course experiences which nurture professionalism in educators – especially in being researchful. We recognise that currently much recent initial professional formation has been competency-based, matching the recent highly structured ‘programmes of learning’ which have been produced by government departments. As a result many educators (practitioners) and managers are not geared up to inhabit these ‘spaces for growth’ - they may feel empty and unnerving, creating a yearning for ‘old certainties’ and comprehensive manuals.

    Undoubtedly there are criticisms and concerns about languages or aspects of the document, and we can recognise and note these at the outset without dwelling on them unduly,  unless they present fundamental challenges. The main point is to articulate the ways in which so-inclined centres can wholeheartedly move into evolving researchful pedagogy, and the opportunities for FE/HE course leaders to produce formative courses which support this professionalism.

    This first conversation is  open to attendance online by others, who will also have opportunities to contribute thoughts and comments.

    Date Thursday 3rd December 2020
    Price £20
    Member Discount Free to members, but it is open to all.
    Presenters

    DISCUSSANTS

    Jan Dubiel, EY educator & consultant, DfE/QCA lead

    Chris Merrick –past EY advisor &  inspector, chair of governors, SI consultant, past early years centre lead

    Louise Lowings – past EY advisor, current head of Madeley Nursery School, Telford

    Jackie Warren – CEO, Growing Places nursery centres, Portsmouth

    Rebecca Webb – education lecturer, University of Sussex

    Diane Gregory, Manager, Childsplay Nursery, Newcastle

    Robin Duckett, early years educator, founder/director, Sightlines Initiative

    Caroline El-Semman, director, Little Jungle School of Early Childhood

    Times 4 - 5.30pm

    Online Conference set:  narratives of the real and possible in shaping education

    2016 project 1These are times of possibility. Amidst calls and demands to ‘return to normal’ there are also many who have lost patience with the ‘old normal’ or have seen that other ways of living and learning are indeed preferable. Multitudes of educators, head teachers, parents and advocates are striving to protect and also develop possibilities for educational experiences with children’s rights, wellbeing and proclivities for natural enquiry at the heart.  

    This online conference set of seminars is designed to nourish all those who are actively promoting and creating these ‘visions of the possible.'

    The core frame of reference in these seminars is work of the preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy.   2020 is the centenary of Loris Malaguzzi’s birthday, the pedagogical teacher, psychologist and civic campaigner who worked closely throughout his life with Reggio Emilia’s emerging preschool services between 1945 - 95. Reggio’s preschools continue to be a tirelessly evolving example of an embodied vision for the future. 

    We are also showcasing selected innovative educational experiences from other countries. We will consider these alternatives, in order to learn and ally with their experiences as we forge a new education for our children. 

    The series culminates in a panel discussion with Peter Moss and others to consider the questions and possibilities that these generate, and the principles and directions which they imply for us. "

    women's resistance 1944
    building the preschool 1946 2

    " It is the spring of 1945.
    I hear that in a small village called Villa Cella, a few miles away from the town of Reggio Emilia, people decided to build and run a school for young children. That idea seems incredible to me! I rush there on my bike – I find women intent upon salvaging and washing pieces of brick …you have to agree that seeing an army tank, six horses and three trucks generating a school for young children is extra-ordinary. … [Reggio Emilia's] valuable (and continuing) history confirms that a new educational experience can emerge from the least expected circumstances. "
    Loris Malaguzzi

    the truck of the people LM summer fresco
    Communicate with presenters prior to the presentations: When you register you will be given a link to write about your interests, foci, wishes, questions.

    If you register before Friday 16th October these will be submitted to the various presenters. This will be helpful to them in honing their presentations and give them a sense of connection with you and your interests.

    Date Monday 26th October 2020
    End Date Friday 30th October 2020
    Available places 9
    Price £150
    Member Discount 10% (If you are not a member, you can go to Our Work/Network Membership for more info.)
    Presenters

    Monday 26th October 10a.m. 'Loris Malaguzzi's pedagogical influence and contemporary importance.' Professor Peter Moss, University College London

    Monday 26th October 2p.m. 'Walking on Threads of Silk.' Marina Castagnetti, Reggio Children, Italy

    Wednesday 28th October 10a.m. 'The Women and the Schools of Reggio Emilia.' Professor Sabine Lingenauber & Janina L. von Niebelschütz, University of Fulda, Germany

    Wednesday 28th October 2p.m. 'How Does Learning Happen? - Ontario's vision for education’ Karyn Callaghan & Kelly Massaro-Joblin, Ontario Reggio Association, Canada

    Friday 30th October 10a.m. 'Democratic alternatives in education: Provocations from the Portuguese Modern School Movement.' Dr. Diana Sousa, University College London

    Friday 30th October 2p.m. 'Truths and Transformation – where now and how?' Panel and Discussion with Peter Moss, Karyn Callaghan and others.

    Please Note:

  • The cost is inclusive for all seminars.
  • Your ticket is transferable to another in the case that you can't participate in a particular session.
  • Video links will be issued on the previous working day.
  • Recorded sessions: to support the participation of registrants in other time zones, we will be making recordings of the sessions available to registrants for a period of four days subsequent to the presentation.
  • Madely LoE edit 3'Making the Parts Whole' Madeley Nursery 2019This session will explore the concept of ‘languages of evaluation’ – the idea that there are many different ways of understanding and conducting evaluation, and not just evaluation as ‘performance management’, a language that is very dominant today.
    In particular, we will consider what language of evaluation can do justice to a complex and distinct pedagogical project, for example, that of the municipal schools of Reggio Emilia or many of the Children’s Centres in England, in a way that embodies the value of participatory democracy, and supports researchful education.
    Peter Moss, from UCL Institute of Education, will share some of his preliminary thinking about this challenge; while Louise Lowings, from Madeley Nursery School, will share some examples from current practice that have evolved from a two year international research project in early childhood centres.
    There will be time for questions and discussion about this vital subject.

    Documentation as a tool for assessment/evaluation gives us an extremely strong 'antibody' to a proliferation of assessment/evaluation tools which are more and more anonymous, decontextualised and only apparently objective and democratic.

    Carla Rinaldi, President of Reggio Children Foundation

     

    Date Wednesday 21st October 2020
    Price £35
    Member Discount £5
    Presenters

    Professor Peter Moss

    Louise Lowings

    Times 4 - 5.30pm
    Location/Map: online

    Viburnum thicker Dark Green Outline.fwThis online session is for Sightlines Initiative Network members and settings to reconnect, share journeys, and current planning in this ongoing time of global health crisis.  

    What a strange time this has been and is!  

    There have been so many challenges to the early years sector both financial and emotional big decisions had to be made. Was it safe to open? How could we keep safe but also still be here at the end of all this? How could we support our children at home?  How could we stay connected? 

    Log in first in order to register - see 'Community Login' at the left of the webpage.

    Date Wednesday 7th October 2020
    Please Note: This is a free session for Sightlines Initiative Network members
    Times 1.30pm - 3pm

    3 ways

    In this session we will considering our ideas of play – what is it? what is it for? who determines this? – to focus on playfulness. The basis for this will be an exploration of children’s naturally playful learning and how this compares with adults’ constructs about play.

    Adults who begin by closely considering children’s feelings associated with playfulness are far better placed to be insightful in their provision of dynamic learning environments.

    We will

    • look at how we can foster playfulness and creativity through our relationships and ways of being with children
    • explore playful possibilities within the learning environments we create, and
    • discuss the value of developing our own playfulness to work in reciprocal, playful ways with children.

    This seminar is organised in collaboration with House of Imagination, of which our guest presenter Dr. Karen McInnes is an associate.

    Dr Karen McInnes has a background in working with children as a speech and language therapist, early years teacher, play therapist. Her PhD focused on play and playfulness in young children, and she continues to research, write and present on play and playfulness.

    Date Tuesday 6th October 2020
    Price £35
    Member Discount £5
    Presenters Dr. Karen McInnes
    Times 4 - 5.30pm
    Location/Map: online

    Our profession needs to be researchful, and connected with its libraries of evolving thinking, research and knowledge.on gaints collected1

    The last 33 years or so (in the UK), exemplify the blank slate model of teacher and educator development.
    The trouble started in 1987. In the years before the (UK) Education Act of 1987, by and large, teachers did their own thinking, turning to a variety of sources to enrich their understanding and help them make a case for their principled pedagogical decisions. But soon after the arrival of the DES National Curriculum document, the first signs of professional amnesia appeared in our midst. Slowly but surely teachers began to act as if professional knowledge were only to be found in glossy ring folders, training packs and videos and all manner of other pronouncements from politically-led authorities.

    [from Mary Jane Drummond, Professional Amnesia, Refocus Journal 2008]

    Transformative change requires attention to pedagogical as well as structural principles….we have the good fortune, in evolving pedagogical principles and educational action, of a rich tradition of educational thought and experience. We must take full advantage of the invaluable cultural heritage represented by the thought and work of past pedagogues such as Froebel, Dewey, McMillan, Isaacs, Freinet, Freire and Malaguzzi.
    Drawing on these cultural reserves, as well as the intelligence and expertise of today’s practitioners, a pedagogical transformation can be embarked upon, turning away from a culture of targets [and] measurement.

    [from Peter Moss, Transforming Early Childhood in England 2020]

    In this session we will be reflecting on the contributions of some of the recent giants of educational thinking so that we can better articulate and explain the beliefs and understandings that can and ought to underpin our practice. We will examine a range of perspectives developed through the last century, so that we can draw on these in the choices we make for children and to tell a better story about the nature of education, based on the way young children learn rather than on the target-driven instincts of politics.

    We will provide participants with further reading and references, to continue your encounters ....

    Date Tuesday 29th September 2020
    Price £35
    Member Discount £5
    Speaker Dr. Christine Merrick
    Times 4 - 5.30 pm
    Location/Map: online