The investment in professional development is at L’Atelier and at the CCC the pillar of our educational and creative experience.
This investment has a direct impact in the quality of the experiences of children, teachers and the community.
Research is a strong identity of our system and our community.
L’Atelier made the choice to invest in the City offering professional development to the community as an invitation to enter in dialogue to further develop quality for all children.
Miami is a treasure of diversity, as is L’Atelier School. L’Atelier and its community is seen by us as a statement of the world, and of Citizens of the World. As such, we all are responsible to participate, and move toward an understanding that the beauty of children’s work in connection, or in collaboration, with the beauty of adult’s interpretation of children’s work is a very strong statement of citizenship understood not only in the traditional sense of belonging to countries and nations, but in the sense that were are all responsible to have a voice and use that voice to raise the quality of life and society by raising the quality of experience in schools for young children. As a school, as a group of educators we research into this, and dedicate ourselves to understand as a school, with children and with families, what citizenship is, and what a new image of citizenship could be.
Professional development is based in a continuous attitude of research that we embrace at L’Atelier School and at the CCC as a way of living and learning. It is based on essential values of Humanity, Identity, Culture and Politics.
The school does not separate the aspect of research from its daily life with children, instead it provokes and invites for reflection of our own context, our community, and of the world. What kind of society can we construct together when we embrace education as a powerful force that has the potential to create platforms of empathy, relationships, innovation and humanity? A world based on competition proposes drastic limitations for the evolution of humankind. It is time to envision Collaboration as a resource we all have access to, if we want to save our own identity and world.
Since the beginning, L’Atelier developed a strong collaboration with the educators from Reggio Emilia, Italy. Specifically, Amelia Gambetti has been the consultant of L’Atelier since the year 2000. She visits the school once or twice a year and is part of our research projects. Her presence in the school is evident because what you see when you enter the school is us, our identity, our values and our own context. Amelia Gambetti brought to L’Atelier the most important value of the Reggio approach, identity.
An attitude of asking questions supports the continuous evolution of our work and life project. We ask ourselves questions about what could be the role of a preschool in the world. And what could be possible if many preschools in the world enter together in a different frame of thinking where what they do in their preschool is research about essential aspects that touch each human being and the society. We believe this experience must be a win-win situation for everybody.
What is our purpose?
What is quality and how do we defend and promote it?
Which are the values that sustain our curriculum?
In which ways making learning visible could be the evolution of our curriculum?
What is the relationship between curriculum, projections, environment and values?
What defines a learning context?
In which ways do we care about the dynamic of the development of the learning context?
Why is it important to continue to develop a culture of thinking?
How much do we relate creativity and thinking?
The continuous consulting with Amelia Gambetti and the ongoing dialogue with educators from North and South America has supported our learning and evolution. Reflecting on our journey these past twenty five years, we see clearly to evolution of our school, and the many different phases and many challenges we have faced over the years in order to always be an institution that has the purpose and has a reason to exist. Our school with children, families, educators and artists, has grown and changed yet always has remained dedicated in our focus to engage in research. We continuously ask ourselves.
“What can we learn from each other when we research and share our experiences?”.
We have been investing for the past 20 years in a change of the view of the child, of the view of education, of the role of adults and children, but more specifically about the role of the children in the city, and the view of children in the society. There are still too many impediments that disconnect the humanity and the government, and the choices that are made. So, our research and the ongoing educational project of L’Atelier can be understood in the context of our history and our future. We believe that by entering in research about citizenship and that by really learning how to connect with the other, we will learn how to gain a sense of humanity that is much needed at this time. Our history has brought us to this moment, and our future is beckoning us forward toward new possibilities that can be actualized now, but could not have happened when we began our journey many years ago. goes beyond its curricula.
The faculty schedule is designed to include quality time for professional development as in inherent right of educators. Time for individual, small group and large group thinking and analysis is seen as a strong value that nurtures the process of growth with colleagues.
The faculty meets for:
L’Atelier was born as an institution that promotes collaboration and exchange as central values of a society. How difficult is it in todays’ world to replace competition with collaboration? Investment in Professional Development began in 1995 when L’Atelier opens its doors. Today it continues to represent the value of an educational project that was established in Miami almost 25 years ago when L’Atelier decided to invest in a city, in a preschool, and in the opportunity to create a new possibility and a new idea of what education could mean. We chose the city of South Miami as a strategic place where we believed that families and communities had a strong sense of place, and offered the capacity to fund this project. And, eventually in 2005 we were able to host The 100 Languages of Children exhibit from Reggio Emilia, Italy in Miami.
At that time Miami did not seem to be a city that invested in early childhood education as a right for the community, and as a right for children. L’Atelier started its experience as a preschool inspired, from the beginning, by the Reggio Emilia approach with the intention to create relationships with other schools in the community, and with other schools in the national and international community. We noticed right away that ....
Spending a day at L’Atelier is an opportunity to offer to enter in dialogue and exchange about the what doing school means. The community can visit the school and the CCC, spending a day with the faculty and observing the life of the school.
The organization of the visit is constructed with you, and it takes in consideration your context and pedagogical studies.
L’Atelier offers one or two weeks internships to support the study of the educational experience at L’Atelier and at the CCC. This experience is designed ad hoc and takes into consideration your process of pedagogical development in your own context.
Educators will spend full days at the school observing the daily life of children, teacher and atelieristas. The afternoons, educators will invest in the development of research projects designed in advance.
L’Atelier offers consulting as a collaborative exchange of educational contexts. Our experience of more than 25 years allows us to share our own interpretation of our work and enter in dialogue with your own experience. We strongly believe that no educator can train another one to do the right thing. Instead, a true relationship of exchange and mutual thinking and analysis will give the necessary roots to the educational project and its evolution.
From 2010 - 2013, educator and researcher, Barbara Becraft worked closely with the L'Atelier school community to create and engage in research entitled, Exploring Pedagogical Relationships within a Culture of Creativity in a Reggio Emilia-inspired School. The study was published in 2013, and serves as a spotlight on a moment in time at L'Atelier, offering a multi-faceted view of a school where creativity drives daily life.
L’Atelier School and Baby Gym are developing a pedagogical research based on their diverse contexts of education, one in Miami, USA and the other in Barranquilla, Colombia. The relationship was born from the desire to engage in dialogue and the study of the Reggio Emilia philosophy. Two different context offer many opportunities to develop mutual learning.
Renata Araujo Moreira dos Santos is a teacher, a pedagogical coordinator and advisor at Madalena Freire Study Center.
She wonders if Life itself and the creative experiences in contact with one another can provoke even more an act of curiosity of the world in children and teachers. Could this exercise of curiosity, accompanied by teachers’ attentive listening to student’s investigations broaden the contexts of learning and construction of networks by all those involved?
A collaborative Project among Reggio Emilia Inspired schools in Santa Monica, Tulsa, Saint Paul, Boston and Miami.
Welcome to the Dialogue
This space is dedicated to the opportunity we can all develop when we enter in thinking, exchange and dialogue.
We offer important contributions from educators that have lived a solid experience in the field of pedagogy and that share with the world their thinking, their learning and their vision. We aim to provoke each one of us to read and reflect and to create connections with each ones experiences so the daily work of teachers finds roots in humanity, in creativity, in ethics and in the future.
We are honored to inaugurate this section with two articles from Amelia Gambetti, a Reggio Emilia Citizen and educator of the Reggio Emilia schools for over 25 years, but also a Citizen of the world. Her experience in Reggio Emilia but also in the world through the meaningful work she has developed in all five continents is a patrimony we cherish and offer, with her, as an invitation for a World Dialogue.
We welcome your reflections and invite you to engage in this new Dialogue.
About Loris Malaguzzi
Written by Amelia Gambetti
A Guest Column for Speaking
Written by Amelia Gambetti