Antioch University Midwest to Host Ohio Voices for Learning Statewide Initiative Parents as Partners in the Life of School

Reggio Emilia Approach Expert and Esteemed Educator Lella Gandini to be Keynote Speaker

Antioch University Midwest (AUM) and its School of Education will host a statewide education conference focused on parents as partners in the life of school. The Ohio Voices for Learning: A Reggio Inspired Forum (OVL) full-day conference will take place Saturday, March 7 and will feature Lella Gandini, a consultant in early childhood education and an expert in the Reggio Emilia Approach to teaching.

OVL is a dynamic professional development network of more than 500 educators dedicated to promoting the Reggio Emilia Approach (REA) through the exchange of information, ideas and shared experiences illustrating how aspects of the instructional approach are implemented in Ohio classrooms. The Reggio Emilia Approach focuses on seeing children as active contributors to their education – rather than the target of instruction – and is grounded in several key principles including the belief that children are active protagonists of their growth and development process; learning is a process of individual and group construction; and the teaching environment is organized to provoke and support learning.

AUM is a statewide leader in teaching the REA and its School of Education’s Early Childhood Education program is recognized by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), making the campus an excellent launchpad for this initiative, which coincides with the Ohio Department of Education’s Step up to Quality (SUTQ) requirement for preschool programs and teacher professional development.

“Recognizing parents as participants in a child’s education is crucial to the overall health of an education system and is symbiotic with the key principles we teach students and continuing educators,” said Julie Biddle PhD, core faculty, chair of AUM’s early childhood education program, and co-chair of OVL. “I am excited to welcome such an esteemed colleague as Lella Gandini to be part of an event that will unite students, teachers, parents and families in the shared goal of quality education.”

Lella Gandini, EdD is an educator, consultant and a Reggio Children United States Liaison for the Dissemination of the Reggio Emilia Approach. She serves as Associate Editor of Innovations in Early Education: The International Reggio Exchange. She is co-editor and co-author of The Hundred Languages of Children: The Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education; Beautiful Stuff: Learning with Found Materials; Bambini: The Italian Approach to Infant/Toddler Care; In the Spirit of the Studio: Learning from the Atelier of Reggio Emilia; Insights and Inspirations from Reggio Emilia: Stories of Children and Teachers from North America. In addition to Gandini’s remarks, the conference also includes small group conversations about “strengths, challenges and opportunities of partnering with parents,” with participation from Gandini.

The conference is funded in part by a grant from the PNC Foundation. Registration for the conference is now open, and is $72 for OVL members and $80 for not-yet members.  For more information or to register for the conference, please visit

The conference is eligible for SUTQ Training Hours.

Ohio Voices for Learning

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