Our philosophy of early childhood education grows from a deep heritage in Reggio Emilia, Italy, where historically the community came together to rebuild community through schools. Pioneers of the Reggio Emilia approach to education, like Loris Malaguzzi, saw young children as important contributors to society. Children face developmental challenges that become increasingly complex as they get older. And this phase of development for our 21st century children is in many ways more complicated than ever before.
“An integral part of our curriculum is listening to what our children are passionate about and what concerns them. We as educators listen and talk with the parents in our school community,” says Head of Schools Gina Farrar, PhD. “We’re proud to be a resource in our community for these conversations. And we see that there are particular challenges facing our families with regard to finding a way to set limits with children that is respectful to children’s spirit and competencies, but also provides a secure and predictable foundation from which they develop.”
“Building on these conversations with our parents, we felt this particular challenge is an important topic for our Parenting Lecture Series,” she adds. “In wanting to create a forum for discussion for our parents, educators and the larger community, we looked to find a speaker that aligned with our value and who had the expertise to speak to these challenges and professional success in finding effective solutions.”
There’s a deluge of parenting advice available today, which is often conflicting and outmoded. One author and speaker, renowned clinical psychologist Dr. Ron Taffel, is one of few experts sought for speaking engagements among parents, childhood education experts and fellow child development experts.
He has authored several popular parenting books, as well as professional books, including Childhood Unbound: The Powerful New Parenting Approach That Gives Our 21st Century Kids the Authority, Love, and Listening They Need to Thrive. This look at the particular concerns facing parents and children today explores effective ways to empower, engage and nurture 21st century kids.
Dr. Taffel recently spoke at the 92Y Wonderplay™ Early Childhood Conference at the 92ND Street Y on Lexington Avenue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. His well-received multi-media presentation, The New Anxiety: Challenges for 21st Century Kids, Parents, Educators and Clinicians, touched on authority and compassion, describing ways schools can empower both parents and teachers.
His approach focuses on concrete positive methods, illustrated through clear success stories. In his speaking and writing he addresses key concerns, such as:
- Approaching consequences and rewards in a way that supports your values.
- Building effective communication.
- Finding ways to create a community for children where they feel safe, supported and nurtured.
We’re hosting a special event at our Lower School on Wednesday evening, November 5, 2014. Dr. Ron Taffel will share insights, techniques and inspiration to bring out the best in our kids in his talk, Compassionate Limits – 21st Century Style!
This event, part of our Williamsburg Northside Schools Lecture Series, is open to parents and educators from all over. Seats are limited, so please click here to RSVP. There will be books by Dr. Taffel available for purchase at the event as well.