AREA board member awarded Italian Order of Knighthood

IMG_2943AREA is very proud of board member Maurizio Mariano, who was awarded the Commendatore Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, Third Class, Commander) on Friday 1 June at the Italian consulate in Johannesburg. Maurizio is the first non-resident Italian to be honoured with this Order of Knighthood in South Africa.

Image: Maurizio (in black in the centre) being celebrated for his outstanding achievement by AREA board members (from left) Thandi Chaane, Tessa Browne, Bev Evangelides, Sifiso Thobakale, Des Hugo and Peter Lee.

Curiosity, creativity, discovery – a wrap-up of the 2017 conference

Over three days in June 2017, nearly 300 educators gathered in Waverley, Johannesburg with a sense of common purpose: to deepen their understanding of the Reggio Emilia philosophy of education; to connect with other Reggio-inspired thinkers, activists and educators; and to meditate on what more we can do – or do differently – to ensure a better future for children.

On display at the conference was the beginning of a ‘Great Forest’ – a collaborative project and exhibition looking at how children see the rights of trees, as a lens into how they see their own rights. Six schools and 1 NGO participated in the pilot – from Lesedi la Kreste in Orange Farm to Clare Ellis Brown Pre-Primary in Durban. Our hope is that the project will grow into an exhibition on children’s rights, to be hosted at Constitution Hill.

Jozi through the eyes of a child

“A town or city is a complex system of relationships intersecting on several levels. Towns grow and change. They are organisms predominantly shaped by the people who live there. Children and young adults are a significant part of a town or city. Yet, more often than not, their impressions and ideas are not given sufficient attention.” – Reggio Padagogik Austria

With this in mind, Reggio educators in Johannesburg facilitated a tour of the city for children between three and six years old with the aim of finding fresh and creative ways to understand “Jozi”.  Children’s impressions were gathered through photos and notes (thoughts, insights and associations) and were then artistically interpreted by them in the forms of poems, drawings, songs and sculptures.

13307210_906447606147510_5638312601915312548_nWe want all children to become researchers and document their experiences of the city with the ultimate aim of being part of solving some of Jozi’s many challenges.

We invite you to join our Facebook group: Jozi through the eyes of the child and engage with our ideas to get inspired to join the movement.

For more information, please contact Lindi Bell

Reggio conference – Jozi

Each year, the Africa Reggio Emilia Alliance hosts its conference, with speakers from all over the world passionately building the case for Reggio-inspired education in all schools. The conference – 28-30th June – is jam-packed with child-led teaching and learning ideas.   There is not much time left to sign up – please do so soonest –