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*certificates for Professional Development hours will be available*lunch will be providedLike the early childhood programs in Reggio Emilia, Opal School has always viewed its work through a political lens. We know that play and the arts are essential in developing the imagination, empathy, and agency through which to construct new theories that set a path for new images of citizenship. In today’s world we are often faced with social injustice against which young children’s voices stand as a strong counterbalance. School is a place that children expect to be designed to help them make sense of the world around them and at Opal School they set this year’s theme of Play, The Arts, and Education for Democracy.Play and the arts are instrumental in supporting children to find their place within complicated, nuanced questions. On December 1st, we will reflect together on children’s experiences and ideas through unpacking their dialogues, designs, and dilemmas as we work together to make meaning of democracy, justice & rights.
Through examining our varied stories, we hope to make progress in understanding a series of questions that lie at the heart of our practice:· What habits, dispositions, and understandings are necessary for participatory democracy? How might we nurture them in school?· How do play and the arts help us see beyond the limits of the systems we have now to feed our imagination for more just worlds of greater democracy?· How can we create learning environments for democracy guided by a strong image of children as creative, competent, and capable, full of gifts that the world needs now?
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