In a quest for continuous learning and international networking, a delegation of principal and educators from Crestar embarked on an enriching International Study Group, The Reggio Emilia Approach to Education, to Italy. The trip, spanning from 13 to 17 November 2023, brought together a diverse group of participants, including Ms Rebecca Goh, Ms Heng Tsui Fern, Ms Jiang Jing, and Ms Zhong Xiao Feng from the Crestar group’s early childhood brands – Kinderland, NurtureStars and ELFA.

From left to right: Ms Rebecca Goh, Ms Heng Tsui Fern, Ms Jiang Jing, and Ms Zhong Xiao Feng from Crestar group’s early childhood brands at the International Study Group

The primary objective of the trip was to gain a comprehensive understanding of the Reggio Emilia Approach. The approach is renowned for its emphasis on the environment as the “third teacher”, the exploration of the 100 languages of children, and the meticulous documentation of the learning process. The delegation had the unique privilege of engaging with speakers who shared insights into the key components and practical implementation of this approach.

Making recycled resources readily available for children to explore, imagine and create

A noteworthy highlight of the trip was the visit to Remida, a cultural project focused on sustainability, creativity, and research on waste materials. Participants also had the opportunity to attend Concurrent Ateliers, with topics ranging from sensory experiences to project-based learning. Ms. Rebecca Goh-Quek shared her experience in the “Sense of Taste” workshop, emphasizing the importance of linking diverse sensory experiences to enrich the learning environment.

Using the various edible plants for the participants to construct concepts and consolidate our understanding of the world around us

The delegation also had the chance to visit infant-toddler centers and preschools implementing the Reggio Emilia Approach. This firsthand experience allowed them to witness the meticulous design and organization of learning spaces.

Exploring space and its interaction and influence over infants and toddlers

Senior Principal of NurtureStars, Ms. Heng Tsui Fern, expressed gratitude for the opportunity, highlighting the key takeaways of the learning environment, documentation, and parent partnership. She emphasized the potential adaptation of some Reggio Emilia practices into the local preschools.

This International Study Group not only broadened the participants’ understanding of innovative educational approaches but also fostered international collaboration. It has also allowed exchange of ideas with a diverse range of participants.

The full cohort of principals, teachers and college students from the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Malaysia, Singapore, China and South Korea, among others.