Welcome to the 2022 REAIE Conference – Landscapes of Relationships

Reggio Emilia Australia Information Exchange (REAIE) is pleased to share with you the title of the REAIE Conference 2022 Landscapes of Relationships –Inspiration, exchange and dialogue for the future of childhood.

As our conference task group began to consider the objectives and structure of the next conference, they knew they wanted to establish a relationship with the tradition of ‘landscapes’ in the conference title. Mary Featherston had found the word ‘landscapes’ in the publication 100 Languages of Children (1st edition) and Jan Millikan, founder of REAIE wrote: I think that the word landscapes has the connotation of 100 languages but also journeys containing emotions of light and shadow and the need to research.

The decision, to incorporate the landscape ‘thread’, intentionally established a relationship between two points separated by time in the history of REAIE (REAIE’s past and the forthcoming conference). This prompted further reflection on the question:

What does it mean to be in relationship?

As educators of young children the concept of ‘relationship’ is understood as being integral to an intentional process of forming strong and positive connections with children, their families, colleagues and the context within which centres and schools are situated. The conference task group reflected on the creation of synergy which arises in response to holding shared values and beliefs about children and their learning.

Acknowledging the complexity of the work undertaken with children, families and communities focused attention on Malaguzzi’s challenge of creating an education based on relationships and participation …(shaped by) networks of communication and encounters…the spirit of cooperation; individual and collective effort. (Edwards, Gandini & Forman p 45).

Reflecting next on the relationship between learning and teaching in the 21st century, the conference group acknowledged that education systems in today’s world are diverse and complex organisms. What were the relationships needed to give energy and sustenance to the work undertaken with children and families? What might be the structures required in schools to maintain such relationships? How could the conference initiative be garnered to progress Malaguzzi’s vision, of an education system based on:
Connection, Synergy, Interaction, Interdependence.

The REAIE Biennial Conference is delighted to be returning to Melbourne in 2022 reflecting the relationship the organisation has to the city of Melbourne as the birthplace of REAIE since its inception in 1994 and its subsequent incorporation in 2001. REAIE continues to evolve as a National Organisation working to develop meaningful relationships that promote a new culture of childhood within which every child’s rights are realised.

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