The 14th NAREA Summer Conference

Welcome Letter

The board and staff of the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance welcome you to Boston and our 14th summer conference: Crossing Cultures, Contexts, and Communities. This is part of our larger project connected to the traveling exhibit, The Wonder of Learning—The Hundred Languages of Children. Since 2008, Reggio Children and NAREA have collaborated to support the presence of the exhibit and related professional development in 22 cities across North America, which brought together more than 150,000 educators, advocates, and community organizers.

Our story connects with earlier stories of collaboration. Boston hosted Reggio Emilia’s original traveling exhibit, The Hundred Languages of Children, in 1989, two years after its debut in San Francisco. That first exhibit journey to North America was part of a collection of exhibits about the products, crafts, and art of the Emilia Romagna region. It did not take long for North American educators to grasp the power of it and to begin researching its meaning.

Boston, like many networks within North America, benefits from the volunteerism and dedication of persons who envision an optimistic future for children and adults and work to bring it about and from the constant collegiality and perseverance of many representatives of Reggio Emilia, Italy, who keep a dialogue going with us.

So, it is with special gratitude that we welcome Tiziana Filippini and Barbara Quinti, as well as interpreter, Jane McCall. It is through their sharing and exchange that we will continue to build strong interpretations of the values, philosophies, and experiences of Reggio Emilia’s municipal infant-toddler centers and schools of childhood. We also thank the Boston Area Reggio

Inspired Network, Boston University, and BU Wheelock College of Education and Human Development for their strong organizational and pedagogical support of the exhibit and conference.

We wish to highlight our belief in and commitment to the value of embracing a shared vision for education, which cultivates the potential of all children and adults. Recognizing the ever-increasing number of schools for young children inspired by Reggio’s approach to life and education, we honor and encourage each school and every group of colleagues to invest in an ongoing approach that includes permanent study, research, collaboration, innovation, transparency, disequilibrium, and exchange.

Through our professional development projects, we encounter a host of schools at varying points of their own journey, willing to open their doors, expose their work, and welcome the participation of visitors. This style of development has been introduced to all of us by the only “Reggio schools” of Reggio Emilia, Italy. To be continually encouraged to find our own unique identities as schools in different communities, worthy in our own identities, is to see how much the message of Reggio Emilia is based on attitudes of research and innovation, rather than prescriptive dogma.

With appreciation, we recognize the schools for young children in Boston who will welcome us into their contexts: Advent School, Charlestown Nursery School, Newtowne School, Peabody Terrace Children’s Center, Radcliffe Child Care Center, and the Early Childhood Learning Lab at Boston University.

Please enjoy the pleasure of thinking and wondering as we work together to construct a better future for our children, our communities, and ourselves.


Innovations Review

June 28–30, 2018 | Boston, Massachusetts



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