Educators from Carolina Friends School in Durham explore the relationship between health and education.
CAROLINA FRIENDS SCHOOL is an independent Quaker school serving students 3-18. Contact the school at:
4809 Friends School Road
Durham, NC 27705
Telephone: ( 919) 383-6602
Sara Daily Orphanides is a member of the Host Committee for The Wonder of Learning: The Hundred Languages of Children Exhibit in North Carolina. With a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College of Education, she has been teaching four-year-olds at Carolina Friends Durham Early School since 2007.
The Wonder of Learning
By Sara Orphanides, MS, ED
When we think of education and movement, it is often our youngest learners that come to mind. Their natural curiosity leads them to explore their physical selves, their creative abilities, their environment, and their community. Growing research indicates that high-quality early education has a visible, life-long impact. An international exhibit, “The Wonder of Learning: The Hundred Languages of Children,” aims to explore that impact, and it is now on view at Northgate Mall, in Durham, through May.
My colleagues and I at the Carolina Friends School Durham Early School are part of the hosting committee, and our goal is to promote equity and access to high quality early childhood education for all children in our local area and state. The exhibit is a professional development tool of the world-renowned municipal infant-toddler centers and preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, cultivated through more than 50 years of experience and ongoing research. The concepts relate to the possibilities for all children and educators, and we believe this exhibit has the potential to impact our community in a transformative way.
We envision that the exhibit will serve as a democratic piazza, providing both a place and an inspiration for families, educators, and policy-makers to explore the question, “What does the education of a child mean?” There are several ongoing initiatives offering professional development, public events, and opportunities for our community to engage with these important ideas.
“The Wonder of Learning” speaks to all those involved in schooling—educators, families, policy makers—and to all members of the general public who believe that safeguarding educational processes and their evolution is of fundamental importance for society. The unique lens on education presented in the exhibit explores:
- a view of all children as competent and capable,
- the importance of exploring big ideas through the arts,
- the essential role of hands-on exploration of concepts, making the thinking of children visible,
- and the critical nature of learning together in community.
In collaboration with the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance and Reggio Children of Reggio Emilia, Italy, we have developed a title to guide our professional development initiatives: Cultivating the Strong Potential of All Children: Growing a Community Vision for Education.
Our goal is to create initiatives that will serve a multitude of constituents including Reggio-inspired schools, early childhood teachers, families in the Triangle, and the community at large. Special events will include professional development days for teachers, and a Materials Day for families to explore the joy of using recycled and natural materials to create art together.
We hope that you will come experience the exhibit and take advantage of some of the special opportunities available to the community. The exhibit is free and open to the public, now through May 7. Visiting hours are Friday from 3pm-6pm, Saturday from 10:30am-5:00pm, and Sunday from 12:00-5:00pm (other times available by appointment).
For more information about the exhibit in North Carolina, visit: