Reggio Emilia "Thinker in Residence" in Adelaide 2012

Published: Tuesday 3 April 2012

Professor Carla Rinaldi is Adelaide’s current “Thinker in Residence”. Carla is President of Reggio Children, Professor at the University of Modena and at Reggio Emilia, Italy. The catch phrase for her work is “Every chance for every child”. This builds on previous “thinkers” work by Professor Susan Greenfield, Professor Dr Fraser Mustard, Laura Lee and Martin Seligman.

CEFPI SA Chapter has secured a seat at the table to discuss ideas with other key organisations including the three Education sectors (public, private and Catholic) early childhood, urban planning and architecture.

Part of Carla’s residency will focus on the need for quality physical design of schools to support teaching and learning that focuses on sharing and reflecting on knowledge. Professor Rinaldi says that spaces for children need to be beautiful, filled with light, infused with colour, providing changes in volume and texture and linking to outdoor areas.

Another key feature is for schools to be transparent so children are not locked away, but open to the community. Child friendly neighbourhoods in which the child is included as an important citizen should be safe, healthy, vibrant, engaging and inclusive so they are welcoming and interesting.

Parents and teachers are the primary influences on children’s development but place and space is the third teacher so the quality of the built environment, the ways in which it is furnished and equipped and managed are important.

Key questions to ask include: - Who is the person we educate? - How do they learn? - What can we do to create and maintain a stimulating learning environment for children and also for the whole community?