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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Researching the Reggio Emilian Approach in the Australian Early Childhood context: The role of the Pedagogista - An Enquiry into Early Childhood Teachers' practice

Maree Matthews.

The Pre-school system in Reggio Emilia, Italy, has been labelled the best in the world. It is only in the last ten years that this approach has been considered within the Australian context. There is a dearth of Australian research, although anecdotal evidence indicates that practitioners would like to learn more about this way of working with children, parents and teachers. This research focuses of the role of the 'Pedagogista' (mentor or support person) in an Australian early Childhood context. Through Action research in the work place, (an Early Learning setting educating children aged from birth to five years) the role of the 'Pedagogista' has been implemented in Focus groups. In this research the principal researcher has also adopted the role of the 'Pedagogista'. Theory has been considered to inform practice. Analysis of the data will enable a more comprehensive understanding for the role of the 'Pedagogista' in the Australian context together with practitioner development.


Maree Matthews  (Australia)
Director of Early Learning
MLC Kindle, Methodist Ladies’ College
RMIT University

Maree Matthews is currently studying for a Doctorate of Philosophy through a work based Action research project. Maree is Director of Early Learning at Methodist Ladies’ College in Melbourne, Australia. She is trained in both care and education and is passionate about Early Learning and teacher development.

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Reggio Emilian Approach
  • Pedagogista
  • Action Research

(60 min Workshop, English)