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'How Does Learning Happen?' - Ontario's vision for education

Bicycles & Bricks, Vision & Determination ~

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

Seminar Four: How Does Learning Happen? - Ontario's vision for education

Karyn Callaghan & Kelly Massaro-Joblin, Ontario Reggio Association, Canada

Ontario values

How Does Learning Happen? - Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years, 2014

This early years education policy document and professional learning resource guide is founded on clearly articulated views of the child, educator and family, and encourages critical reflection, collaborative inquiry and pedagogical documentation.  “Children are competent, capable of complex thinking, curious, and rich in potential. They grow up in families with diverse social, cultural, and linguistic perspectives. 

Every child should feel that he or she belongs, is a valuable contributor to his or her surroundings, and  deserves the opportunity to succeed. When we recognize children as capable and curious, we are more likely to deliver programs and services that value and build on their strengths and abilities.”  The view of the educator and family are similar in spirit and content.

“As we question, research, reflect, respond, and co-construct our understanding of the world around us with children and families, we gain new perspectives and new and more complex questions arise. This document is not so much about providing all the answers, but rather is intended to provoke questions – for it is in exploring our questions that learning happens.” 

In this session Karyn Callaghan and Kelly Massaro-Joblin will introduce the context and background to this visionary state document and the possibilities and challenges it offers for the large Canadian province of over 14 million people.  

Karyn CIn addition to working as an early childhood educator with children and parents for several years, Karyn Callaghan was a faculty member in the ECE program at Mohawk College and in the Bachelor of Early Childhood Studies program at Charles Sturt University for a total of 30 years.

Since 1997, I have been exploring the philosophy that has guided the early education programs in Reggio Emilia, Italy. I co-founded and coordinated the Reggio-inspired Artists at the Centre – Making Thinking Visible project throughout its 15 year history. I am president of the Ontario Reggio Association, a board member of the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance, and represent Canada on the Reggio Children International Network.

I have authored and co-authored articles published in national and international journals, and have been a keynote speaker at conferences across Canada and in the United States, Asia and Australia. I consulted with the Ministry of Education as they developed the “Think, Feel, Act” and “How Does Learning Happen?” documents, and participated in preparing support materials for the Ministry. I have also co-authored “Documenting Children’s Meaning: Engaging in Design and Creativity with Children and Families” with Carol Anne Wien and Jason Avery, published by Davis Publications. I am grateful for opportunities to be with others who are taking up the challenge of the complex philosophy that is generated in Reggio Emilia.

KellyMassaro JoblinKelly Massaro-Joblin is currently an Early Years Advisor for the Early Years & Child Care Division for the Ontario Ministry of Education.  For the past ten years she has supported Child Care and Early Years Program Implementation and Children’s Services planning with First Nation Communities and District Social Services Administration Boards.  Alongside Karyn Callaghan and others, she helped develop the document How Does Learning Happen?, Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years and now is  seeing the influence of the foundations in day to day practice.  She has been in the field of Early Childhood Education for over thirty-five years, started three Reggio-inspired childcare programmes in Thunder Bay and travelled to Reggio Emilia, Italy to participate in study tours.  

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.

Dates, Details & Booking

Date Thursday 28th January 2021
Price £40
Member Discount 10%

Karyn Callaghan & Kelly Massaro-Joblin, Ontario Reggio Association, Canada

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

    We are no longer accepting registration for this event