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Danette Dickinson, B.Mus., B.Mus.Ed., ARCT, OCT

Danette Dickinson is a classical pianist. She came to love music as a child, through her interest in and study of piano. She studied piano performance and music education at Memorial University and is now a primary and junior music specialist atThe Bishop Strachan School for classroom, choral and instrumental programs. She is also studying toward a Master of Education degree in Language, Culture and Teaching at York University. I was first introduced to Danette's work with pedagogical documentation in a presentation at Charles Sturt University in Burlington. She and her colleague Susan Hislop spoke about an article that they had written, "The Way the Words Go: An Emergent Approach to Music Curriculum" where they told of their collaborative relationship as they studied and responded to the Grade 1 children's translations of musical and mathematical understandings in graphic and other languages over the course of several months. Danette's music background and Susan's mathematics background were highly complimentary in this study. They found the children to be using both music and mathematics to alternatively energize and lead their explorations and understandings. Photo by Danette Dickinson Danette's perspective of the children's transmediations between materials was very interesting. In particular, she shared the […]
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Deborah Halls, MEd, OCT

Deborah Halls enjoys music. She is also a Full-Day Kindergarten teacher with the Toronto District School Board.  I first met Deborah at the Ontario Reggio Association pedagogical documentation sessions at York University.  She brings such thoughtful work revealing theories and thinking of children - which always piques my interest. Deborah has contributed to the Ontario landscape of pedagogical documentation in her practice and shares her classroom experiences in presentations, videos and publications. She generously acknowledges that her understandings and participation working with pedagogical documentation happen in relationship. In a conversation with me she noted that, “I depend on my colleagues for their input. Sometimes I am too close to see other things.” She represents a truly transparent and collaborative approach to teaching and learning with young children using pedagogical documentation. Deborah coauthored a chapter in Carol Anne Wien’s book, Emergent Curriculum in the Primary Classroom: Interpreting the Reggio Emilia Approach in Schools, with artist-educator Vanessa Barnett. Their work is titled, Wire Bicycles: A Journey with Galimoto. Deborah and Vanessa tell how, after being inspired by the “The Hundred Languages of Children” exhibit in Toronto in 2006-2007, they introduced wire as a medium for the communication of ideas for the children […]
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Kerri Embrey, MEd

Kerri Embrey is a writer and avid arts consumer. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Victoria in Visual Art and Writing and she recently graduated from the Faculty of Education at York University where she completed her master’s thesis, When the World is Alive: Aesthetic Experience and Radical Listening, with Carol Anne Wien as her supervisor. Kerri defines radical listening in her thesis as “a metaphor for heightened receptivity to beings, places, and materials.” In her role as a lead teacher of research and inquiry for Junior Kindergarten through Grade 1 at the Bishop Strachan School in Toronto Kerri offers a space for collaboration, discussion, and provocation as she works in a way that parallels the work of the pedagogista in the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education.  In this role Kerri says that “I have found that my art training has strongly informed my teaching practice in the way I work with materials, my sense of process and in my predilection for direct experience and experimentation.” A valued part of the experience as an educator at the Bishop Strachan School is active participation in professional learning events.  One such opportunity was when […]
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Sergio Pascucci, BA, BEd, OCT

Sergio has a love for visual arts. He has a diploma in Fashion Design and says that he "feels that he brings this creativity to the classroom from concept, to pattern, to construction, to product." He is also a teacher with the Peel District School Board. I first met Sergio at the Ontario Reggio Association pedagogical documentation meetings at York University sharing very genuine documentation of learning experiences from his class. I noticed at our sessions that Sergio's beautiful documentation was often of living things - plants and animals, and the outdoors. There was evidence of patience and sensitivity found throughout his documented inquiries in his use of time and careful listening. He noticed almost imperceptible gestures and choices found in photographs of the children and in their drawings. Along with bringing such interesting pieces, Sergio also has an especially commendable disposition of being completely welcoming to the discussion of possibilities and interpretations about what his observations might mean for the children. Sergio is generously transparent in his work and shares his questions, theories, and responses to the children in a blog, Crayons, Wands, and Building Blocks that he has created. How wonderful it would be to be a child […]
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Randa Khattar, PhD

Randa Khattar is an artist with words. She is also a professor of education at Charles Sturt University, Burlington, Ontario campus. She teaches educators in both the Bachelor of Early Childhood Studies and in the Bachelor of Education programs. Randa has written a number of academic publications, using language and metaphor to evoke thought-provoking insights about pedagogy from a relational perspective. She is genuinely interested in understanding thinking and conditions for thinking for all. A central strand in her research is responsive education for educators that is grounded in social and ecological justice, sustainability and children's rights and responsibility. Eclectic perspectives are appreciated and valued by Randa and her conversations and writing around pedagogy and documentation reflect this attitude. Students who have worked with Randa appreciate her sensitivity and understanding guiding their learning experience in such intelligent and responsive ways. Dr. Lous Heshusius and Dr. Carol Anne Wien were Randa's supervisors in the doctoral program at York University as she developed her dissertation entitled, Pedagogy of Complex Relationality Exploring Complexity Theory, Neuro-phenomenology, and Attentiveness for Education. Randa and Carol Anne continue to work together to share their appreciative understanding and ideas of relationality and attentiveness in learning. Randa also works […]
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Brenda Jacobs, MEd, OCT

Brenda Jacobs is an avid gardener who enjoys spending time working outdoors. She has travelled extensively in North America, Europe and in parts of China discovering the earth's natural beauty and meeting people around the world.  Brenda is currently teaching Primary/Junior teacher candidates at the Early Childhood Education site at York University where she is a PhD student in Education in the Faculty of Graduate Studies. She is also a part-time professor at Seneca College in the School of Early Childhood Education where she teaches in the Bachelor of Child Development degree program. Prior to starting her PhD and joining the Seneca faculty, Brenda taught primary and junior school-aged children for twenty years in Oxford, England, Vancouver, British Columbia, and in Toronto, Ontario. For her MEd research, Brenda documented and wrote about an emergent curriculum project called Children's Conversations About the Sun, Moon, and Earth, which was later published, in part, inEmergent Curriculum in the Primary Classroom (Wien, 2008, pp. 82-95). This project began with a story read aloud and then extended into a four month long investigation in her public school kindergarten class. In Brenda's words, and in the pedagogical documentation included in this chapter, it is possible to hear […]
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Allison Blight, MEd, OCT

Allison is a dancer.  She specialized in dance while she was at York University and says, “I loved every moment!” Allison is also a primary public school teacher and is dedicated to providing the children she teaches with relevant learning opportunities. I am so happy to have met Allison in our graduate education classes. She is sincerely welcoming to the perspectives of children, families, and colleagues and engages in careful reflection in her teaching practice - such beautiful capacities for an educator. Allison’s MEd work, “A Rocket Like a Lower Case Letter”: Emergent Learning in a Kindergarten Standardized Curriculum, reveals the adventures of her class building and launching rockets. Allison, working as a researcher, carefully gathered documentation for the project using videos, photographs, and recorded conversations.  She then showed, using her pedagogical documentation, where language and science curriculum expectations were embedded within the children’s activities. Not insignificantly, the pedagogical documentation also makes visible how this emergent curriculum effectively sustained the children’s curiosity and directed their inquiry while they actively tested their conjectures and theories. Imagine – rockets in kindergarten – what fun! Associations Ontario College of Teachers OCT   Ontario Reggio Association ORA
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Joanne Babalis, MEd, OCT

Update April 3, 2016 Joanne Marie Babalis continues to be inspired by the world renowned early childhood approach from Reggio Emilia, Italy. She is an educator with the York Region District School board, a PhD student at York University, blogger, speaker, and new mother. Her research interests include documenting the transformation of one's learning environment, making visible students with special rights within project work, and how families view the changes in 21st century education. Joanne shares her documentation via several social media platforms, which include her blog, twitter, instagram, pinterest, youtube, and snapchat. As of most recently, she has started to document educators during professional learning sessions to provide a window into the experience of learning and to encourage transformative practices for young children. Published May 24, 2013 Joanne Babalis is an artist with a talent for interior design, photography, and graphic design. She is also leading the way for educators using social media to share their learning experiences. You can witness her creativity in her blog as she reveals the evolution of changes in her kindergarten classroom environment in the York Region District School Board. At the same time, Joanne also generously shares documentation of the inquiry based learning […]
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Monika Krupa, MDes

Updated March 2016 Monika Krupa is a graphic designer working at the intersection of design based learning, interface design, and learning technologies. She completed the Master of Design program at York University. Happily, for those of us in the Faculty of Education, she elected to take Carol Anne Wien's graduate pedagogical documentation class and she also travelled to Reggio Emilia, Italy with the Canadian Study Group in 2011. Monika inspires educators to consider how design influences the communication, interpretation, and understanding of pedagogical documentation. She offers individual consultations and facilitates group workshops for educators interested in developing their design and visual communication skills. Monika completed her thesis research with a primary class in a public school where the teacher uses pedagogical documentation. The thesis is titled Secrets of the Magic School: Emergent Learning Through the Design Process in a Kindergarten Classroom. This experience provided an opportunity to engage with pedagogical documentation first-hand. As the children collaboratively built a story that took place within their school environment Monika documented the process and discovered just how valuable pedagogical documentation is to understanding the learning that has the potential to happen among groups of children. The living documentation in the classroom, as the […]
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Mary Jane Miller, MEd, OCT

Mary Jane Miller likes to paint and draw. She is also a teacher, presenter, and writer. We first met when she brought some pedagogical documentation of her thesis to a graduate education class at York University. Since then we have spent many happy times together at teaching and learning events including travelling in 2011 to Reggio Emilia, Italy. As an educator, Mary Jane is always interested in learning and she recently enjoyed the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance summer conference in June 2012, Giving Visibility to Creative Thinking and Collaboration in Our Schools and Communities, in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. She is about to return rejuvenated to her classroom teaching with the Toronto District School Board after a three year secondment to the Faculty of Education at York where she taught Primary/Junior teacher candidates with a background in Early Childhood Education. Mary Jane's thesis, "Can Weaving Make a Horse?": Kang as Protagonist, is published, in part, as a chapter in, Emergent Curriculum in the Primary Classroom (Wien, 2008, pp. 126-143). In this work Mary Jane so carefully tells of a child's thinking as he explores his questions and theories. Her documentation communicates genuine and thoughtful responsiveness to Kang as he develops an […]
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Susan Hislop, MEd, OCT

Susan says, "I am passionate about the beauty and organization of math as it occurs all around us in nature, everyday situations and the mathematics of materials." She also runs marathons, loves gardening and working with young children and clay. Susan is a kindergarten teacher at an independent girls' school in Toronto and has taught previously at schools in Egypt, Cyprus, U.K., and Malaysia. She has visited Reggio Emilia, Italy twice with study groups and attends and participates in presentations with colleagues at conferences and institutes across North America including events at Charles Sturt University in Burlington. I am so happy to have met Susan at York University and value her friendship and laughter and admire her beautiful and sensitive work with young children. Her master's thesis, Enriching Mathematics Expectations in Grade One with Reggio-inspired Emergent Curriculum, demonstrates how she, as a researcher, uses pedagogical documentation to listen and respond to children developing an understanding of mathematics in their lives. The children recorded in the pedagogical documentation of her thesis tell their mathematical theories and ideas and Susan shows how they revise and adapt their understandings within the collective of their classroom. Her pedagogical documentation allows the reader to notice […]
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Marc Richard, PhD

Marc is a dancer. He is also a teacher, consultant, writer, choreographer, and engaging international speaker. He is a leader in dance education in Ontario and is closely involved with many organizations promoting participation in dance. I first met Marc in a graduate course studying pedagogical documentation with Carol Anne Wien at York University. Since then we often meet at Ontario Reggio Association events including the Canadian Study Group in Reggio Emilia, Italy in 2011. As part of his doctoral dissertation, Marc created 13 human sized panels, which beautifully and insightfully demonstrate how pedagogical documentation offers an opportunity to see young children's thinking expressed through creative dance. Marc eloquently gives visibility to the synergistic connection between dance and learning for children with these documentation panels. He not only demonstrates how creative dance initiates, stimulates, and expands children's learning experiences, but also allows readers the opportunity to become aware of the ways creative dance and physical movement contribute to their own understandings of the world. How fortunate it is to have Marc's understanding of dance and pedagogical documentation converge in this way. Associations Council of Ontario Dance and Drama Educators (CODE)Dance and the Child International (daCi)Kaeja d'DanceWorld Alliance for Arts Education […]
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Dr. Carol Anne Wien

Carol Anne aspires to be a jazz pianist, is a lover of the arts, and is a long time student of the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education. She is also a highly regarded and beloved professor in the Faculty of Education at York University in Toronto. Carol Anne is well recognized, approachable, and a thought provoking leader in education and offers invaluable support and encouragement for educators of young children in the Canadian experience. As an educator, author, speaker, and collaborator Prof. Carol Anne Wien acts as a catalyst for learning using pedagogical documentation. Her influence is expansive. Leading educators from Reggio Emilia, Italy and many inspired by the Reggio approach from around the world consider her a friend and value her intellectual and affective provocations in considering reciprocal learning relationships with children. Prof. Wien is the first entry in this forum as a tribute to the central role she plays in my understanding of pedagogical documentation and for so many others in the Reggio-inspired approach to learning with young children provincially, nationally, and internationally. UPDATE March 1, 2016 Carol Anne retired in 2014 and after commuting between Halifax and Toronto for 20 years, returned to Halifax. She […]
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My experiences…

My interest in pedagogical documentation was sparked in graduate classes with Prof. Carol Anne Wien at York University and I was privileged to have Carol Anne act as supervisor for my thesis, The Revelation of Self-Talk in Pedagogical Documentation. It was a wonderful experience working with her and one that I will always treasure. Also, it has been delightful to study and work with so many colleagues that are engaged with pedagogical documentation in eclectic and interesting ways. These experiences have expanded my appreciation of the possibilities for pedagogical documentation. In the spring of 2011 I travelled to Reggio Emilia, Italy, as part of the Canadian Study Group organized by the Ontario Reggio Association, to learn first hand about the excellent approach to early childhood education there. It was invigorating to meet people from across Canada with such diverse fields of experience all interested in early learning. I also regularly attend Reggio-inspired learning events within Canada and I particularly enjoy the monthly Ontario Reggio Association pedagogical documentation sessions led by Carol Anne and attended by such people as artists, education administrators, early childhood educators, parents, graduate students, public and independent kindergarten teachers, and college and university faculty members - from […]
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