Progressive Ed for the Early Years: Introductory Series

Date: Saturday, February 24, 2018 – Saturday, April 14, 2018

Course #: PROED1

Time: 9 a.m. - Noon

Location: Erikson Institute

Cost: $300.00

Credit Available: 9 contact hours


Session One – February 24, 2018

Exploring a Constructivist Philosophy and Approach for the Early Years

This session will explore an overview and the underpinnings of a social-constructivist philosophy from Dewey and Vygotsky to the contemporary work of David Hawkins and Loris Malaguzzi. Participants will discuss the contemporary ideals of a constructivist philosophy and how these ideals can shape our approach to working with children. The session will begin to explore how the Reggio Emilia Approach embraces the philosophy and some of its foundational elements that make it one of the best approaches to working with young children.


Session Two – March 10, 2018

Teacher as Learner/Teacher as Researcher

Two key ideas of contemporary social constructivism will be explored in this session that looks at the importance of learning and research from the teacher’s perspective. One of Hawkins’ most important tenets was that teachers need to be learners, alongside children. Malaguzzi believed as strongly that teachers have to be researchers in their own right as well as researchers with children. These two important elements of a contemporary constructivist approach will be explored through the concept of “messing about” and long term studies in the classroom. We will also explore how documentation supports the process research.


Session Three – April 14, 2018

Dialogue and Intention: Reflective Practice

In this session we will discuss the importance of ongoing dialogues, reflective practice, and action plans for change. A key element of the Reggio Emilia Approach is the collaboration and communication that takes place among teachers and with children. In many ways this is cultural, but there are important lessons we can take away from this practice. We will begin a dialogue in this session to explore how to integrate elements of a constructivist philosophy and the Reggio Emilia Approach into our own work with children in a way that makes sense in our own cultural context. This will include the importance of using reflective practice, documentation, and action research.


Angela Fowler