Merage JCC preschool faculty head to Reggio Emilio, Italy to learn about learning

Published Friday, February 10, 2017


In 2016 nine Merage JCC faculty join over 400 educators from 41 countries to discuss  Reggio Emilio philosophies


Dan Bernstein, Merage Jewish Community Center, President and CEO, announced that the Merage JCC is sending its second cohort of teachers to Reggio, Italy, the home base of the Reggio Emilia curriculum the JCC’s preschool school espouses. Bernstein continued stating that the JCC regularly offers meaningful, indepth learning experiences enriching our program and community.

“We are thrilled to invest -- significantly -- in the professional development of our Aronoff Preschool faculty at the Eric & Sheila Samson Family Early Childhood Learning Center. Our students are our future, and we will continue to make critical and exceptional investments in our students, teachers and community.”

Research suggests that, like many professions, effective teaching is the result of study, reflection, practice, and hard work. Schools that provide team-based professional development demonstrate that they are serious about all educators performing at higher levels. Not surprisingly, additional research confirms that the most important factor contributing to a student’s success in school is the quality of teaching.

Lisa Monette, Director of the JCC’s Eric & Sheila Samson Family Early Childhood Learning Center, explained, “The Reggio approach follows several key principles, chief among them is the idea that every child is ‘capable and competent.’ We’ll access presentations and seminars by pedagogistas (Reggio terminology), teachers and atelieristas (artists and naturalists) on this principle of the Reggio philosophy and on its values overall. Topics will cover the image of the competent child; observation, interpretation and documentation; the role of the environment; the pedagogy of listening; and a specific emphasis on parents’ involvement in the life of the school.” The teachers expect to return with more tools and resources to tap into every child’s individual creative processes. (Photo: Lisa Monette with Mark Horowitz, JCCA's Vice-President, Early Childhood Education and Family Engagement, and a Reggio Emilio curriculum expert as well, joined the Merage JCC faculty at the conference. 2016)