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 pedagogista Francesca Giorgioni from Reggio Emilia, Italy, worked alongside Kerri and The Bishop Strachan School colleagues in their school for almost a year in 2009. Kerri describes this experience as “the most formative influence on me and how I learned to make use of documentation as research.” Kerri also travelled to Reggio Emilia in 2011 on the Ontario Reggio Study Tour and The Bishop Strachan School graciously hosts and participates regularly in Ontario Reggio Association events. Kerri often shares her learning experiences in presentations at these gatherings.

How exciting it is that Kerri is able to imagine and articulate connections between aesthetic experience and radical listening and notice how this relationship informs and affects pedagogical documentation.
The Bishop Strachan School (BSS)
North American Reggio Emilia Alliance  (NAREA)
Ontario Reggio Association (ORA)
Documentation and Protocols: Structures for Transforming Teacher Listening. Roundtable AERA Annual Meeting, San Francisco, 2013.
Listening and Aesthetic Experience. Roundtable AERA Annual Meeting, Vancouver, 2012.
Ideas of Structure: A Grade One Inquiry. Bachelor of Early Childhood Studies Conference, Charles Sturt University, Oakville, 2012.
A House for Sarah: How Emergent Curriculum Can Foster Mathematical Thinking in Young Children. CIS Best Practices Conference, 2010; Kawartha Child Care Services, 2010; Ontario Reggio Association Conference, The Bishop Strachan School, 2009.
Do Dinosaurs Have Bellybuttons? NAEYC Conference, Chicago, 2008.
From 2-D to 3-D: An Exploration of Bees. Presentation at Investigations and Expressions, The Bishop Strachan School, 2007.


Embrey, K. (2010). A house for Sarah: How emergent curriculum can foster mathematical thinking in young children. Teaching Children Mathematics, 17(5), 280.


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