Trip to learn about method of teaching

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Glenham School principal Mark Wiseman is heading to Melbourne to learn about a different approach to teaching.

The approach – called Reggio Emilia – is based on research from Italy and focuses on pupil-centred, self-directed learning.

Mr Wiseman said he had already started using the method in the senior school but wanted to learn how to implement for the juniors.

“The seniors have ‘Genius Hour’, where they direct their own learning,” Mr Wiseman said.

He would visit primary schools and early childhood centres in Melbourne to see how the programme was implemented there and bring aspects back to his classrooms, he said.

He first heard about Reggio Emilia while teaching in Auckland.

He had never seen the approach in action before.

“I need to have a lot more background and seeing it in action is the best way to do that,” Mr Wiseman said.

“I have only seen it in videos, but to be there will be great.”

To fund the trip he became a Google-certified trainer and ran professional development courses, Mr Wiseman said.

“It was lots of work. You have to pass level 1 and 2 exams and have to show that you had done training.”

While in Melbourne, he would also visit the Reggio Emilia “Hundred Languages of Children” exhibition.

The exhibition, which had been travelling the world for the past 35 years, documented the capabilities of children as seen through the pedagogical journey of the Reggio Emilia early childhood centres and preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, Mr Wiseman said.

He also wanted to learn more about the transition from preschool to primary school, he said.

He was the only teacher in Eastern Southland going on the trip.

“Most of the teachers going are from Auckland,” he said.

Mr Wiseman will leave for Melbourne on September 2.