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Study Tours Reveal a New World of Ideas

by Margie Carter
November/December 2016
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/study-tours-reveal-a-new-world-of-ideas/5023226/

With the multitude of professional development offerings available these days, I’ve especially valued participating in study tours to see firsthand and learn directly from the experiences and accomplishments of other programs. This idea first came to my attention in the early 1990s when Angela Ferrario began taking study groups to Reggio Emilia to see a very different approach to early childhood education. In the following decades these tours grew exponentially, eventually inspiring U.S. programs that had been studying the Reggio approach to offer their own learning tours for others. I confess that initially I was concerned that these tours were just the latest new American fad, with the idea of ‘study’ taking a back seat. While this was true in some cases, hundreds upon hundreds of North American educators have delved deep into studying the theories and pedagogical practices of their Reggio counterparts, transforming their own thinking and practices, and becoming an inspiration for others. Indeed, that dedication has informed my own learning and I am forever grateful for how inspiration from Reggio has impacted the early childhood landscape in North America. 

In those early Reggio study tour years, I confess I was also disturbed by the privileged demographics of programs pursuing ...

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