This day’s focus is on reconceptualizing quality in early childhood settings, and re-imagining research as an ethic of welcome and relationship. Inspired by the voices and daily life of children, families, and educators in Reggio Emilia, Stefania will propose a view of quality as value-laden and culturally constructed. Through the story of her own encounter with the learning communities of Arcoboleno infant-toddler centre and Neruda school, she will explore the image of early childhood settings as places of research, where children and adults are welcomed and valued as researchers in daily life. Examples from daily life – rich images and the voices of children, teachers, and families – are used to frame new understandings of quality and an invitation is extended to teachers to see themselves as researchers in their every day encounters with children.
Stefania’s engagement with the early childhood field internationally spans over 15 years. Previously an early childhood teacher in an International School in Rome (Italy) and a Montessori School in Perth (Western Australia), she is currently a Lecturer in Early Childhood Education at Curtin University in Perth. Stefania spent six months engaging in PhD research in the world-renowned municipal infant-toddler centres and schools of the city of Reggio Emilia, Italy. She maintains strong reciprocal relationships with educators, atelieriste, pedagogiste, and other key protagonists in Reggio Emilia. Stefania is the author of Dancing with Reggio Emilia: Metaphors for Quality, published in 2013 by Pademelon Press.