The Canadian Study Tour can inspire Indigenous Early Childhood Educators to think about our traditional culture, ceremonies, ways of being, and how we respect children, families, and communities as one.  The educators in Reggio Emilia have been learning alongside their children, families, and community for many years, documenting the learning of children and themselves. The world-renowned pedagogy they have developed is founded on values that resonate strongly with Indigenous values, as it is based on deep respect for children and families, and foregrounding relationships with other people and with the beyond-human world.

The Study Tour includes visiting and making a study of a variety of Reggio Emilia early learning programs, attending seminars on the values and principles of the philosophy, and presentations on research projects carried out by educators and children.

There is also an opportunity to experience a hands-on studio where long-term projects have been developed using a wide range of art materials that is a part of every program.  The view that children have a hundred languages, including drawing, painting, clay sculpture, mark-making, music, movement, wire structures, construction and more, is central to the pedagogy of Reggio Emilia.  This is a much more inclusive philosophy than is typical in education, and it engages children deeply as does our Indigenous culture, ceremonies, ways of being and how we respect children, families, and communities.

The Indigenous Early Childhood Educators can expand their teaching bundles and return to their First Nation communities with new knowledge and ways of thinking. This will create a community of shared learning where they bring together children and their families, elders, and the community so it becomes a full circle of learning together. When our Indigenous families are constantly encountering evidence of their children’s competence, it has a positive impact on how they see their children, themselves, and their communities.

The IPLO Coordinators will continue to build and develop professional learning resources with an Indigenous worldview for early learning staff in First Nation communities in Ontario. The resources are made available at no cost and posted on the First Nation Early Learning Collaboration Website, hosted by the IPLO Coordinators.

Tour participants will have the opportunity to bring their new knowledge and ways of thinking to the various Networks with First Nation early learning programs such as How Does Learning Happen in Your Day for front-line staff and Creating Connections to Inspire Leaders for managers and supervisors.

This study tour is being hosted by the Ontario Reggio Association and will be facilitating Zoom gatherings for registrants in the weeks leading up to the study week, with opportunities to ask questions and think together and prepare the educators for the learning opportunity that lies ahead. 

For More Information or to Register Visit The Ontario Reggio Association Website.

Below is a video created by one of the IPLO Coordinators, Michelle Taylor-Leonhardi, who had the opportunity to visit Reggio Emilia on the Canadian Study Tour with Ontario Reggio Association in 2018. She shares her experience and similarities to her culture in this video.