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Susan Harris MacKay and Matt Karlsen from Opal School

Washington Collective

Saturday, April 21, 2018 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM (PDT)

Susan Harris MacKay and Matt Karlsen from Opal School

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Ticket Type Sales End Quantity
Saturday April, 21, 2018 Apr 21, 2018 Free  
Saturday April, 21, 2018 Apr 21, 2018 Enter donation ($)

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Susan MacKay and Matt Karlsen from Opal School – April 21, 2018

Play, The Arts, and Education for Democracy

The pre-primary municipal schools of Reggio Emilia were founded as a response to fascism.
This daylong workshop, drawn from insights developed at Opal School, asks relevant and
fundamental questions:


What habits, dispositions, and understandings are necessary for participatory democracy?

How might we nurture them in school?

How do play and the arts help us see beyond the limits of the systems we have now to feed our imagination for more just worlds of greater democracy?

How can we create learning environments for democracy guided by a strong image of young children as creative, competent, and capable, full of gifts that the world needs now?

 

Facilitators representing Opal School of the Portland Children’s Museum are Susan Harris MacKay and Matt Karlsen. The mission of Opal School is to strengthen education through provoking fresh ideas concerning environments where curiosity, creativity, and the wonder of learning thrive. Opal School practices Playful Inquiry, an approach to learning alive in a community that courageously and collaboratively relies on the unique gifts of childhood to question what it means to be a citizen world-maker in the midst of uncertainty.  Opal School
serves 125 children, age three through grade five; the Museum Center for Learning engages Opal School’s teacher-research to provide professional development for 1000 educators annually. Susan is Director of Teaching and Learning at Portland Children’s Museum (including Opal School and the Center); Matt is Associate Director of the Center for Learning. Read more about Opal School (and Susan and Matt) at opalschool.org.

 

Opal School of the Portland Children's Museum is a beginning school (ages 3–5) and public charter elementary school (grades K–5). The mission of Opal School is to strengthen public education by provoking fresh ideas concerning environments where creativity, imagination and the wonder of learning thrive. Opal School is guided by Playful Inquiry, an approach to learning alive in a community that courageously and collaboratively relies on the unique gifts of childhood to question what it means to be a citizen world-maker in the midst of uncertainty. 


 
 
Biography for Susan Harris MacKay

Susan Harris MacKay, a nationally recognized educator, author and presenter, has been with Portland Children’s Museum since its grand re-opening in Washington Park in 2001. Currently, her focus is to support the work of both the Museum Center for Learning and Opal School. She holds a BA in English from Vassar College and an MA in Teaching from Lewis and Clark College. Her trips to study the municipal preprimary schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy and her collaborative research with Opal and Museum colleagues have supported her deep commitment to developing approaches to public education that honor the rights of children as citizens and support visibility of their tremendous creative capacities.

When Susan is not working and learning alongside educators, children and families at Opal School, writing about those experiences, or sharing them with educators around the world, she can be found at home, playing alongside her own three children, and wishing they would stop growing up so fast.

 

Biography for Matt Karlsen

Associate Director of the Museum Center for Learning, Matt Karlsen supports Opal School’s mission to strengthen public education through provoking fresh ideas concerning environments where creativity, imagination, and the wonder of learning thrive.

For fifteen years prior to joining Opal School and the Center for Learning, Matt worked in a range of educational settings, including as a teacher (mostly at the upper-elementary and middle-school levels) and in leading teacher professional development programs.  As he developed a relationship with Opal School – as a parent and collaborator – he saw the important role it plays in expanding educators’ vision of “third doors” that adults and children might walk through together to create richer, more just worlds.  Since joining the staff in 2012, he has worked to connect the ideas being constructed at Opal School to international audiences hungry for those perspectives.

Have questions about Susan Harris MacKay and Matt Karlsen from Opal School? Contact Washington Collective

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When & Where


One Convention Place
705 Pike Street Suite 900
Near Washington Convention Center
Seattle, WA 98102

Saturday, April 21, 2018 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM (PDT)


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Organizer

Washington Collective

The Washington Collective is doing more than sponsoring the exhibit. In the future, beyond the duration of the exhibit, we have the overarching goal of Celebrating and Inspiring Communities of Love and Trust for All Children.

  1. Use the concrete evidence derived from staging The Wonder of Learning: The Hundred Languages of Children exhibit as an opportunity to draw together people who have aspirations for goodness for children. The inspirations of the exhibit and the Reggio Emilia approach provide an example of real utopia for children.

  2. Collect stories, ideas and conversations about young children to share as provocations for inclusive efforts to build and connect evolutionary, democratic, locally trusted, participatory schools for young children.

  3. Create the conditions for transformative change and the creation of real utopias for all children as a public resource, which we know accrue benefits for everyone in the future.


The Initiative with NAREA
The Washington Collective has signed a contract with NAREA to bring the WOL exhibit
to Seattle. In this part of our effort, we adhere to the initiative approved by NAREA and
Reggio Children in every way possible. Everything that happens related to the exhibit at
One Convention Place, the NAREA Winter Conference at the main branch of the Seattle
Public Library, all Reggio-inspired professional development and any other activity
undertaken in conjunction with the exhibit from January to May 2018 has to be approved
by NAREA and Reggio Children. Therefore, the initiative for all exhibition-related work,
stated differently than in our logo, is:

Structuring a Culture of Shared Values for Children and Childhood:
Honoring Diversity, Differences and Democracy

This initiative will be what guides the selection and design of all exhibition activities.

It is therefore important to distinguish between the two activities of the Washington
Collective.
(1.) The Wonder of Learning with NAREA and Reggio Children under this initiative.
(2.) Inspiring transformative change and the creation of new utopias for all children,
as stated in the previous section.

Creating the Culture We Desire
The second activity above is an effort not unlike what the mothers of Reggio Emilia, Italy,
did after World War II to create schools for their young children brick by brick, so their
children would never go to war again. We expect donors might see this as an
opportunity to invest in addressing all the crises our society faces, the crises that
dominate our thoughts every day. We think that by starting with conversations about our
children, building on our commonality of love for our children, we can construct together
a new kind of society based on the best of our humanity. This will be a huge task
involving many activities that will require an investment of time and money to begin. The
collective seeks to raise $300,000 or more for exhibit costs, public relations, web
presence, support allowing low-income families and caregivers to attend the exhibit and
related professional development activities, World Café conversations about our dreams
for children in every county in the state, and the creation of a film telling our stories.

Invitation to Participate
We need your help to make this exhibit happen and shape the effort to reach our goals.
In accord with NAREA, we are creating spaces so that a variety of voices can have input
on the ongoing professional development plan which includes but is not limited to speakers, workshops, dialogues and other events that support the Wonder of Learning –The Hundred Languages of Children exhibit.

  Contact the Organizer
Susan Harris MacKay and Matt Karlsen from Opal School
Things to do in Seattle, WA Conference Family & Education

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