The Summer Studio provides early childhood educators and community members the opportunity to explore, experience and change the landscape of early childhood education. Summer Studio 2021: The Many Languages of Inquiry, although virtual, was no exception. Participants were immersed in mental and physical spaces that generated ideas and creativity. The forum featured fine and performing arts content knowledge, examples of children's engagement with the fine and performing arts, and suggestions for experiences to experiment with in a variety of settings.
This year’s theme was “Languages of Inquiry” inspired by the belief that there are a multitude of ways to communicate, well beyond speaking and writing. Loris Malaguzzi’s poem translated by colleague, Dr. Lella Gandini, suggests that, "The child has a hundred languages (and a hundred hundred hundred more)." The Summer Studio used this as a metaphor for its investigation of inquiry. There are many languages, methods, or approaches to inquiry.
This year's participants included alumni, current Early Childhood Education students, and Early Childhood Educators from local school districts as well as faith-based and private programs. Each summer, participants take away a deeper understanding of the learning process, a strengthening of their use of personal judgement and decision-making, an increase in familiarity with academic content areas, and development in their confidence to express ideas, experiences, and perspectives with other educators.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with the other educators at the various institutes. This re-inspires my work with my students which supports my goals of establishing interesting and engaging environments," said one Summer Studio 2021 participant.
A couple of the experiences and perspectives expressed in Summer Studio 2021:
“The question I've been investigating the past few days: Can you intentionally leave empty space; space for rest; a moment of pause? During my walk I revisited a familiar cactus. I get to witness so many of its transformations. I noticed parts of the cactus where there were once bright yellow blooms...it was now empty (image at left), yet just as intriguing to me. It visually reminds me that empty space, space for rest, a moment of pause can be a very positive thing...perhaps even essential. Creating space and pausing can be about becoming open to new possibilities and becoming aware of potential.” –Melanie Atkins
“I wanted to make a map of some sort, but I have been pondering the relationship between the resist technique we experimented with yesterday, the meaning of the word resist, and the verb resist. Interestingly, textiles tend to resist the cochineal dye unless they are processed meticulously. This is the map I came up with (image at left). Just like the wax resists the watercolor, so must we resist negativity, apathy, judgment, laziness, comfort, oppression, envy, negativity, dishonesty, stupidity, vanity, aggression, and fear.” –Dulce Shimkus
Summer Studio 2021 was the fourth studio offered. The Summer Studios are funded through 2023 by Paradise Valley's First Things First Phoenix North Regional Council professional development grant. The plan is to continue the spirit and the practice of the Summer Studio beyond the current funding cycle.
PVCC Alumni who would like to learn more about this and other professional development opportunities, as well as, stay up to date about the state of Early Childhood Education are invited to send an email to: email@example.com