Opal School closed in 2021. You can continue to access these resources for free at teachingpreschoolpartners.org/resource-library/.

A long journey to meet the masters of so what

A long journey to meet the masters of so what

Last week, Opal School hosted staff from Bromley School in Christchurch, New Zealand, for two days of classroom observations, presentations, and conversation.  Bromley is a Reggio-inspired public school primarily serving low income families. Teachers from across New Zealand visit it to extend their practices.

Traveling 7300 miles is a significant investment in professional development.  What did our visitors notice and value during their visit?
P1140482In one classroom the group visited, students were challenged to use collage to represent the big ideas they have developed about risk taking over the last three weeks.  BC embraced the challenge: I don’t have my idea yet, but I want to work with the materials to get there…  We’re masters of so what! 
The visiting teachers were struck by:


Extensive use of the arts and questions that provoked depth of thinking 

A sense of flow that seemed divorced from time constraints

Support for social emotional dynamics that invites risk-taking and vulnerability

Project work that weaves together connections and brings out children’s voices

Reflective practices by children and adults that lead to meaning-making

Documentation that makes learning visible

Opal School aims to transform public education by provoking new thinking about conditions that nurture the wonder of learning.  To do that, we need to be in conversation with you.  We’re glad you’re with us online – and hope you can join us in Portland.


September 29, 2014