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First Annual NJEEPRE Conference (Being Rescheduled)

March 14, 2020 @ 9:00 am - 2:00 pm

Provocations, Playful Inquiry & Emergent Curriculum

Featuring Keynote Speaker Frances Rust

Frances O’Connell Rust is Professor Emerita at New York University – Steinhardt, Scholar in Residence at the NYU Metro Center, and adjunct Professor at University of Pennsylvania – GSE. Using her Montessori training and her readings on the British Infant Schools, Rust started two pre-school kindergartens. She went on from there to a doctorate at Teachers College, Columbia and, since 1985, she has directed teacher education programs at Teachers College-Columbia, Manhattanville College, Hofstra University, NYU, and the University of Pennsylvania. She is an executive editor of Teachers and Teaching-theory and practice, and Voices of Practitioners-the online teacher research journal of NAEYC. She is a member of the International Forum on Teacher Educator Development (InFo-TED). Most recently, her work has focused on Engström’s theory of “expansive learning” as a way of understanding dynamic new educational models such as “true play” in Anji in China.

Please Note:

The day will be from approximately 9:00 -2:00 with a lunch break between 11:45 and 12:45.  Participants will be on their own for lunch.   Morning refreshments will be provided. You will be asked to choose a morning and afternoon workshop when you arrive at the conference.

There is a $45.00 fee for Non-member participation.

NJEEPRE Members FREE (Annual Membership Subscription $40.00 per year) 


Registration/Refreshments 8:00am – 8:45am

Keynote Address 9am – 10:15am

AM Workshops 10:30am – 11:45am

11:45am – 12:45pm lunch break

PM Workships 12:45pm – 2:00pm 

Professional Development Certificates Awarded


Workshop 1.

Story Workshop and Literacy Development

Workshop Leaders will lead an investigation into the relationship between literacy development and the arts. The leaders will show how to use Story workshop provocations that will fuel the imagination, engage all senses and make visible the hundred languages of children. Participants will be invited to “play” with materials and create their own stories.

Workshop 2.

Panel Discussion on from Teaching to Thinking

NJEEPRE members were invited to participate in a book study this year for the first time. The book we studied was From Teaching to Thinking: A Pedagogy of Reimagining Our Work by Ann Pelo and Margie Carter published by Exchange Press. The emphasis of the book was on re-imagining how teaching and learning occurs and the pivotal role of leaders in the process. Join us for a discussion with book study participants.  All educators are invited to attend this workshop.

Workshop 3.

 Co- Learning through Engagement with Clay  

Participants will gain knowledge about how clay and other creative arts materials can act as a vehicle (or language) to increase understanding across all curriculum areas in every learning and developmental domain. After time for exploration and experimentation with various techniques and ways to present clay to children, the participants will actively work with the material to represent their knowledge about personal or shared experiences. A reflection period to end the workshop will touch upon various aspects of the curriculum along with how standards can be extracted from the learning experiences.

Workshop 4

Integrating Reggio-inspired Practice and Traditional Curriculum: A Working Group 

Do the practices of Reggio Emilia inspire you as an educator but feel impossible to implement in your mandated curriculum?  Creating environments and experiences for children that reflect your values does not have to be sidelined.  In this working group, we will brainstorm practical solutions for incorporating playful inquiry and emergent curriculum into more standardized instructional programs. For participants attending this session, please bring curriculum resources to refer to and work from. This might include a unit guide, scope and sequence, or other relevant materials.

Register for the Event


March 14, 2020
9:00 am - 2:00 pm


The Children’s Studio
135 Ann Street
East Rutherford, NJ 07073 United States
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(201) 935-5269