Biography

My involvement in Early Childhood Education began when my three children attended childcare in Montreal. I became fascinated with how children learn, and after further education at Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax, N.S. and Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena, CA., began working with young children.

Beginnings….

In those early years, I was experimenting, reading, thinking, and engaging in dialogue with others in our field who shared my perspective: that young children are capable of deep thinking, that they want to know about how the world works, and that the best way to scaffold this learning was through inquiry, involvement in investigations, and through documenting this work and then reflecting upon it with the children themselves, their parents, and other teachers. I was, and continue to be, stimulated by the practices of the educators in Reggio Emilia and New Zealand, and have found Emergent Curriculum to be a good fit for my own work with young children. I believe that Emergent Curriculum is responsive - a collaboration between adults and children, often challenging -- and sometimes misunderstood!

And now….

I began to share my work with others in a more public way: Presentations at conferences, long-term work with educators who wished to try new approaches, as well as consulting in varied ways and in many places. It seemed to me that the same questions, understandings, and misunderstandings tended to arise wherever I spoke or collaborated with teachers in their professional learning. Therefore, I wrote Emergent Curriculum in Early Childhood Settings, and later, Unscripted: Emergent Curriculum in Action, both published by Redleaf Press. A third book, on pedagogical documentation, will be published in the Fall of 2014.

I continue to work with young children, and this is essential to the reality that I bring to presentations and my writing. I also work with adult learners at the N.S. College of Early Childhood Education, teaching a course on Emergent Curriculum.

In classrooms that use inquiry-based approaches - including those who use Emergent Curriculum, engage in long or short term project work, or are inspired by Reggio Emilia - we work hard to find the time to document children's ideas, thinking, and learning.

The chocolate project evolved from the children's disbelief about where chocolate comes from....
Fall 2017
NS College of ECE, Halifax, N.S.
November 18th 2017
Ottawa area (Kanata)
October 19th and 20th
Prince Edward Island
November 21
Online (closed group)
February 3rd 2018
Hamilton, Ontario