Walking on silk threads

Singapore 13th — 15th March 2014


We were a delegation of 200 plus representing educators, parents and administrators from 15 different countries across the Asia Pacific, including Australia, all gathered together to share the experience of listening to Tiziana Filippini (well known pedagogue) and Loretta Bertani (Atelierista) from the Municipal infant and toddler centres and preschools of Reggio Emilia.
The conference was opened by Dr. Veronica Manson, representing the Italian Cultural Institute, Singapore, who ably welcomed Italian colleagues to Singapore.
Our colleagues from Reggio Emilia then shared generously of their rich experience through many encounters across the three day conference. We saw some of the inspiring project work undertaken by the teaching teams in Reggio and listened to stories.
Tiziana helped us to dig deeper into the process of pedagogical documentation (observation, interpretation and documentation) and supported us to be more purposeful in both the selection of research questions and the languages offered to children to help them represent their thinking. She supported us t better understand the values that guide this way of working.
Loretta supported us to understand the Atelier not simply as a space, but as a way of working with children. She invited us to be more sensitive to ‘beauty’ – to have a heightened awareness of the aesthetic dimension within materials, environments and interactions.... Aesthetics are (said Loretta) fundamental to the education of human beings...
The conference title Walking on silk threads represented the delicate balance between fragility and tenacity, or the strength of our work; the balance between theory and practice and the balance between care and indifference. Our colleagues reminded us to be care-ful in our work with children and families and to ensure that visions of high quality gave meaning to all that we do in our classrooms.
We were incredibly fortunate to have speakers of such calibre who across the three days fed both our hearts and our minds sending us back to our own contexts with renewed energy and courage.
- Heather Conroy
Director of REACH

Our delegates reflect…..

They create in me the reassurance to keep asserting the rights of children; the value of childhood and the honour of walking alongside educators who care. I am humbled.
There are so many ideas… My mind is blown away!
I am inspired by... an approach that promotes humanity by bringing the whole community together in preparing the most precious resource of our future, our children.
Eye and mind opener!
What most challenged me....challenge is not the right word...but more to consider what truly matters and not to lose sight of it
There was so much valuable sharing and I need time to digest this and organise my thinking....thank you it was inspirational from start to finish
I plan to s-l-o-w- down in y teaching, I will document differently and I will see parent participation as a higher priority
My commitment to change is going to be connecting more to children's experiences and ideas - rather than the other way around (where they connect to mine)
My goal is to listen more attentively and go deeper...beyind the surface of things
This was a life changing conference
Keep it up - so you REACH more children

Glimpses of the Conference

Click here for Photo Gallery.