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Leaving Home to Learn
October 25, 2018
Around here, we don’t look backwards for very long… We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
-Walt Disney

“With the multitude of professional development offerings available these days, I’ve especially valued participating in study tours to see firsthand and learn directly from the experiences and accomplishments of other programs,” writes Margie Carter in an Exchange magazine article, “Study Tours Reveal a New World of Ideas” (November/December 2016). “This idea first came to my attention in the early 1990s when Angela Ferrario began taking study groups to Reggio Emilia to see a very different approach to early childhood education. In the following decades these tours grew exponentially…” Carter explains. “Janet Gonzalez-Mena started leading study tours to Budapest, the World Forum Foundation on Early Care and Education took off, and I started traveling to Aotearoa, New Zealand, initially invited as a speaker, and then continuing with extended visits to study and encourage other American colleagues to learn from the remarkable ECE system in NZ, with an inspiring social justice history and pedagogical practices. I’ve been leading small study tours there nearly every year since. Over time I’ve come to identify particular elements that make a study tour a transformative experience for participants, including:

  • thoughtful preparation on the part of the planners and participants, with focused learning goals.
  • an agenda with identified big ideas to be explored in a balance of presentations, center visits, dialogue, and an active reflective guide during the whole experience.
  • careful sequencing and pacing in the schedule with time for individual and group reflections.
  • support in thinking about bringing inspiration home.”

A Message from Margie Carter and Eliana Elias about an upcoming study tour opportunity:
There is still time to apply to participate in the New Zealand Early Childhood Study Tour 2019! You now have until October 31 to submit your application.  If you have not yet visited our website, please do so at  https://hilltopcc.com/institute/nzstudytour/

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