2019 Biennial Conference – Landscapes of Transformation

Reggio Emilia Australia Information Exchange is pleased to share with you the story of the title of the REAIE Biennial National Conference Landscapes of Transformation’ to be held in Perth in 2019.

At every REAIE Biennial Conference the host city Network group plays an integral part in bringing the conference to life, and with this conference that began with the name. When the beautiful city of Perth was chosen to be the host city of the 2019 conference, the committee of REAIE asked the Perth Reggio Network (PRN) Committee, to consider a title. Jane Merewether (PRN committee) recalls the conversation like this:

The genesis of the conference title, Landscapes of Transformation, was a very organic process; emerging out of a long conversation over a meal one evening in April 2017, when the Perth Reggio Network committee met … We were reflecting on previous REAIE conference themes… ‘Landscapes of Identity’, ‘Landscapes of a Hundred Languages’, ‘Landscapes of Listening’, and ‘Landscapes of Possibility’. We agreed that we liked the ‘Landscapes’ thread that held these conferences together and this led us to muse about what kind of landscapes theme might suit our place and time …We discussed the role of education in precarious times, along with the urgent need for transforming education in the face of a changing world… we talked about ‘becoming’ and ‘becoming-with’; how adults and children are in a constant state of becoming with the world. Suddenly, ‘Landscapes of Transformation’ emerged and it seemed like a very fitting theme for a conference in this place and times.

The REAIE Committee received this suggestion with enthusiasm and a long conversation about possible taglines ensued. With the documented discussion in hand the PRN Committee gathered again. Their collective voices are heard here:

Education can and must play a central role in working to find different ways of being in the world, but to do this, educators, and education itself, must undergo rapid transformation… What does this mean; where do we start? What transformations to the Earth, to education, to politics, are we witnessing? What transformations are needed? Perth Reggio hoped our conference might be a generative space for thinking around these pressing concerns.

The title was born:

“Landscapes of Transformation: changing education for changing times”

Prof Peter Moss from the Institute of Education, University of London, says, “Transformative change needs new narratives” and he points us to Loris Malaguzzi, founder of the educational project of Reggio Emilia, to guide us because he created and enacted new narratives (in early childhood education). Freire (2000, p 87) agrees “…there is no transformation without action” and Moss (2018) asks us provocatively “under what conditions is it (transformative change) possible?”

Please join us in Perth for this significant event in education, for new narratives and action, “for dialogue… as a process of transformation” (Rinaldi, 2006, p 184).

Freire, P. (2000). Pedagogy of the oppressed 30th anniversary edition. New York: Bloomsbury.

Moss, P. (June 2018). https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=IrXuu3UGmXs&feature=youtu.be

Rinaldi,C. (2006) In dialogue with Reggio Emilia Listening, researching and learning. London. Routledge.