Friday, December 3, 2010

Finding Inspiration

Justine Roberts, Principal

We are always looking for new inspiration and points of reference.  What works? How are people innovating learning design? What new ideas are out there or exemplary projects that we can draw on?  So when friends of mine set off to visit some Reggio inspired pre-schools I asked them to take lots of pictures.  

Susan MacDonald is the former Director of The Children's Garden, a progressive preschool and Lucinda Burke was the head teacher for 4-5 year olds there for many years. They now work as consultants for other Reggio inspired schools and are starting their own school in Metro Boston.  One of the interesting thing about the schools they visited - The Blue School and La Petite Ecole in NYC - is that both are works in progress.  Both are in temporary quarters and both have the feel of an experiment in which the organization is learning alongside the students. 

Reggio has been a touch stone for many children's museums, and for art rooms and workshops in other types of museums as well.  As these pictures show, the core ideas behind the Reggio approach continue to offer opportunities to create distinctive, inquiry based environments which honor learners and celebrate learning as a community.

I will let the images largely speak for themselves. 

The Blue School

I find this way of organizing types of learning and inquiry very interesting

Yup, they have blacklight painting directly on the wall in the hallway

 La Petite Ecole

This is Virgil, school founder

A kids' kitchen at child's scale but very sophisticated and REAL

Details like the dress up box lid make this space magical. The window is lined with mirror to double the view.

Every paint color has a thick and a thin brush

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