Diane Kashin, Ed.D, RECE. Of all the professional learning experiences that I have taken part in over the years, none have been as meaningful as those designed as collaborative and emergent experiences. On the top of my list is the Rhythm of Learning in Nature with the York Region Nature Collaborative which this summer takes place from August 7 to August 11th. For the third year in a row, approximately 30 Reggio-inspired educators will gather in a magical place called Swan Lake in Richmond Hill, Ontario to experience professional learning in nature. Once again, there will be a forest school camp on site so that the week will feature inspiration from children learning together in nature.
Once again, included in the week will be a visit to the amazing labschool at Seneca College, Newnham Campus where we will be inspired by both the outdoor and indoor environment.
Last year, included in the conference fee was a workshop at the beautiful Kortright Centre called Reggio Practice in Context: Global Perspectives which featured speakers from the United Kingdom and Sweden as well as our own local representatives from the labschool. This year, we have two Reggio and nature inspired educators travelling all the way from Adelaide, South Australia – Dannielle Gibson and Sally Cook and we expect to have plenty of opportunities to hear about their context. In addition, once again, included in the conference fee will be a workshop but this year it will feature a pop up adventure playground! After an opportunity to observe children experiencing the joys and wonders of adventure playgrounds, participants will enjoy a BBQ dinner followed by a workshop featuring Morgan Leichter-Saxby, Andy Hinchcliffe and Suzanna Law, playworkers from the UK!
If that wasn’t enough, also included in the price of admission to #Rhythm2017 is the Tapestry of Play and Learning conference on August 12th at the beautiful and Reggio-inspired Richland Academy. On this day participants from the #Rhythm2017 will be in attendance to facilitate the installations and connect our prior experiences to a day of exploration and play with materials. This full-day indoor and outdoor experience will focus on intelligent materials and how they weave together relationships, curiosities and communities. This is an opportunity to connect with colleagues while engaging with materials; the beautiful stuff of childhood. We are also excited to have Drew Williams from Storypark, who will guide us through a digital documentation process.
If you want to get the full experience, I recommend registering for #Rhythm2017 quickly as there are only five spaces remaining. Recognizing that a full week may be a big commitment, you might want to consider just the adventure play workshop and/or the Tapestry of Play and Learning conference. This summer will be, once again, a time for collaborative professional learning in inspiring environments with like-minded educators from around the world. I hope you will join us!