BEN MARDELL is a principal investigator at Project Zero, a research organization at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr Mardell has been associated with Project Zero since 1999, initially as a researcher on the Making Learning Visible (MLV) project, and helped co-author Making Learning Visible: Children as Individual and Group Learners.
After continuing his work as a preschool and kindergarten teacher, he returned as a researcher on MLV and co-authored Visible Learners: Promoting Reggio-Inspired Approaches in All Schools.
Dr Mardell’s other publications include: From Basketball to the Beatles: In Search of Compelling Early Childhood Curriculum and Growing Up in Child Care: A Case for Quality Early Education.
Ruth Baxter Hesseldal
Kindergarten teacher at the International School of Billund (ISB) in Denmark.
RUTH HESSELDAL is a kindergarten teacher at the International School of Billund (ISB) in Denmark. ISB is an International Baccalaureate Organization school with learning through play as a central goal, working in partnership with Project Zero to develop a Pedagogy of Play through teacher research.
Ms Hesseldal has worked as an Early Childhood Educator for over 20 years, with children from two to seven years of age, in a variety of school and day care settings in the U.K., Denmark and South America.
Play is central to how children learn: the way they make sense of their world; the way they form and explore friendships; the way they shape and test intellectual, social, emotional, and ethical ideas. Much is known about the importance of play in children’s development. Yet little research has explored what it might mean to put play at the center of schooling. What is the relationship between play and playful learning? How do teachers, curricula, and a school community create a culture that supports a playful pedagogy? Understanding attitudes about and practices around play—in classrooms, on school-wide levels, and in global policy arenas—is an ambitious charge.
The first day of this three-day workshop is an orientation to playful inquiry projects: what they are, why they are important to young children’s learning, and some challenges teachers of young children face in facilitating them. The majority of the day will be spent examining examples of playful projects. The classrooms highlighted use a variety of curricula and learning standards, and involve children from three- to six-years-old.
The Reggio inspired tool of pedagogical documentation is the focus of day two. What documentation involves, how it can help guide teacher decision-making to bring together learning and teaching, and the practicalities of collecting and analyzing documentation will be discussed. The concept of documentation will be unpacked through conversation, hands on activities, and looking closely at different artifacts teachers can use in better understanding teaching and learning.
Day three’s theme is “Bringing Playful Projects Home.” Participants will be supported in planning a playful project through the use of a planning tool and receiving feedback from workshop facilitators and the Early Childhood Collaborative Core.
Target Audience: Early childhood teachers and administrators.
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(A) hardcopies needed at workshop (B) electronic version on laptop is sufficient (for viewing during the workshop) (C) required reading PRIOR to the workshop (D) file not needed for workshop itself, but simply material of additional interest/reference