In June, Tulane’s Teacher Preparation and Certification Program (TPCP) piloted its first summer abroad experience in Ferrara, Italy, near the birthplace of the Reggio Emilia Approach to Education.
Monique Hodges, assistant director of TPCP, said the idea for a summer abroad experience that incorporated the study of art, psychology and the Reggio Emilia Approach was first introduced in 2016. Interest grew quickly from students across varying majors and ultimately resulted in nearly 20 signing up for travel. The Reggio Emilia approach is an educational philosophy that features a self-guided curriculum and experiential learning for preschoolers and grade school students.
“Our program doesn’t teach this method in depth,” said Hodges. “For this reason, our students were excited to study an approach that’s new and different and to visit the Loris Malaguzzi Center in Italy where it all started.”
Program director Shannon Blady was among the faculty members to lead the 19 students in attendance. Blady, also a professor of practice in the program, taught a special topics course that explored the history, philosophy and practice of the Reggio Emilia Approach to Childhood Education and a second course on children’s literature.
Kim Sherman, a professor of practice in the Tulane School of Science and Engineering’s Department of Psychology, taught courses on child psychology and education psychology. Holly Flora, an associate professor of art history in the Tulane School of Liberal Arts, taught a course on the Art of Renaissance Italy in addition to a special topics course titled Museum Education: An International Perspective.
Students in Blady’s children’s literature course completed 20 hours of service working with a summer camp program helping students with photography, Chinese lessons and other camp activities.
Students interested in applying for the 2018 TPCP study abroad program are encouraged to visit the program’s table during the Study Abroad Fair on Oct. 18 from 2 p.m.-5 p.m. in the Lavin-Bernick Center.
For more information visit TPCP online.