MERN Forum Presentation id=251
MERN Forum # 16
Session: 3A
Author: Francine Morin
Affiliation: University of Manitoba
Title : A professional development model for cultivating curriculum transformation in early education
Description : Curriculum reformers such as Carol Anne Wien (2004, 2008) and authorities writing in journals such as Teaching Young Children, Primary Voices, or Early Childhood Research Quarterly are calling for a shift away from traditional and didactic models of early education. Since its inception almost 50 years ago in Italy, the Reggio Emilia approach to the education of young children has gained international attention and a renown reputation for becoming one of the best pedagogical models in the world. The approach is viewed as most strongly aligned with calls for reforms in early education with its emphases on: collaborative inquiry, emergent curriculum, the use of multiple symbolic languages in children’s learning; documentation of learning; teacher as researcher; the learning environment as “teacher”, relationships, and so on (Fraser, 2006). In recent years in Manitoba, the innovative pedagogy of Reggio Emilia has been inviting and encouraging critical reflection and the reconceptualization of curriculum design as well as teaching and learning practices among early education stakeholders. To support teacher professional learning and curriculum transformation in early education inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach in the local context, an innovative professional development project for teams of teachers and school administrators is being designed, implemented and evaluated by a team of teacher educator-researchers at the University of Manitoba. The innovation will be based upon key principles of effective professional development practice gleaned from a review of the related theory and research and has the intended purpose of positively impacting participants’ abilities to transform their teaching and learning practices in early education settings. This session will provide an overview of the professional development project and the study planned to research the impact of the project on participants’ learning and transformed practice.
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