Sabot at Stony Point and University of Richmond to Host Education Institute


Sabot at Stony Point and University of Richmond to host Education Institute for over 120 educators from all over the United States.

Sabot at Stony Point is in its sixth year and finds itself at the forefront of an international effort to bring the Reggio approach into elementary and middle schools. The schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy are inspiring teachers all over the United States – and the world – by focusing on student engagement, inquiry and collaboration.  The Reggio approach brings together the work of Dewey, Piaget, Vygotsky and many others in a practice which seeks to be socially transformative by putting the child at the center of the curriculum.

Sabot at Stony Point is partnering with University of Richmond’s Center for Leadership in Education in April (18th – 20th) to host Personal Pathways and Paradigms, a three-day institute geared toward educators who want to explore the Reggio approach as a context for teaching preschool – third grade.

On the evening of the 18th of April, there will be a Community Forum on Education at Sabot at Stony Point. On the one-year anniversary of the Richmond Forum presentation, “Revolutionizing Education” by Sir Ken Robinson and Rafe Esquith, this forum will gather students, parents, and educators who all want to build a different future for our schools. Moderated by Dr. Tom Shields, Director of UR’s Center for Leadership in Education, the forum will invite a variety of local perspectives, as well as national and international perspectives from David Kelly, Director of Curriculum and Pedagogy at NYC’s Blue School, and Lella Gandini, U.S. Liaison for the Dissemination of the Reggio Approach.

Friday and Saturday’s Institute at the University of Richmond will feature presentations from David Kelly and Lella Gandini. We will also hear from Pam Oken-Wright, author, speaker, and teacher-researcher at St. Catherine’s School and Debbie Lickey, co-author of Starting with Their Strengths, who has adopted the Reggio approach to teaching children with special needs.

Additionally, the institute features internationally-recognized teachers from Sabot at Stony Point:

  • Mary Driebe, a Kindergarten teacher, uses questions and inquiry to support students in their in-depth explorations. Mary’s work was most recently presented at Lesley University’s 2012 Reggio conference. Her blog, Gleanings: Capturing the Moments in Kindergarten, provides an astonishing glimpse into the magical work of her classroom.
  • Sara Ferguson, a Teacher-Researcher in the preschool, speaks internationally, and will share her inspiring work with three-year-olds.
  • Anna Golden, Studio Teacher, author of the popular blog Atelierista: Stories from the Studio, and contributor to the recently published Nature Education with Young Children: Integrating Inquiry and Practice, will share the incredible work of small groups of children in the studio.
  • Andrea Pierotti, a third grade teacher, whose work was presented at the 2011 University of Calgary’s Reggio Conference, will share the strategies she uses to support students as they delve into the mysteries of ordinary science.  Andrea’s reflections on teaching and learning may be found in her thought-provoking blog, To Put on One’s Thinking Cap.

On the Pre-Institute day (Thursday, April 18) participants are invited to see the preschool and lower school in action; there will be children involved in project work in the classrooms — and also in the outdoor classrooms.

Click here for more information.

NOTE about other upcoming events at Sabot at Stony Point:

On June 13, author Paul Tough (How Children Succeed) will be speaking at Sabot and will lead a discussion for policy makers and child welfare providers. His book focuses on “the notion that non-cognitive skills, like persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit and self-confidence, are more crucial than sheer brainpower to achieving success.” (NYTimes review, 8/23/12). Details of this event are still being finalized.

In July (22 – 26), John Hunter will be teaching both a World Peace Game summer camp to rising 4th – 8th grade students, as well as a Master Class for Teachers. John Hunter currently teaches in the Charlottesville public schools; he is the creator of “The World Peace Game” as a platform for teaching his 4th grade students authentic, real-world problem solving skills. A documentary, World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements, has been screened nationally, and his book of the same title will be published next month.