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Exploring Inquiry with the British Columbia Early Learning Network (ELN)

Last Friday I sat down with the members of the Early Learning Network (ELN) for our last meeting of the school year. The ELN is a group of educational leaders who connect and collaborate across British Columbia to support innovative early learning (0-8 years) initiatives. We knew we were in for something different because the agenda had specified, “to be engaged and leave inspired” and down the middle of the room ran an incredible display of loose parts and making supplies.

Angela Meredith of SD41 in Burnaby, our host for the day, has just returned from a life-changing journey to Reggio Emilia, Italy. She was inspired to have the room full of educators “walk the talk” by using the loose parts to build a 3D model of the nature of our future work together.

For the next hour we delved into discussion about possibilities and complexities and as our structures grew higher, the conversations around the room formed common threads and more and more creative solutions. My group’s structure tumbled, and we reflected on how often that happens in our work as well. And we rebuilt it in a new way with what we had learned. The activity focused the discussion on finding what was at the heart of our work with children, and how these individually impactful educators can come together and make their even stronger collective voice more visible.

It is so wonderful to be part of this innovative initiative and we look forward to the coming year of inspiration with the ELN. Here are photos from out activity session:

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Loose parts Angela collected – all free! She told us Ikea was a great resource.

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Noralea Pilgrim (Mapleridge), Gina Wong (Vancouver School Board), and Marie Thom (Richmond) working on our collaborative structure.

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So many opportunities for play.

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We even added parsley to bring some life and colour in.

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Nurturing teachers creative possibilities.