Democratic Spaces for Early Learning

with Suzanne Axelsson

Reggio-inspired educator at Stockholm University, international presenter, and early learning consultant

Live Online Session: November 20, 2019 (7:00 – 8:30 p.m. EST)


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 How can an early years setting be democratic? What does it involve and what role do the educators and children play? A dialog to explore how value, participation, respect and empowerment are steps towards inclusive play and learning communities.

Suzanne Axelsson’s work with toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarten children, and children with special rights will help us explore democracy (equity and inclusivity) in early learning settings. Her inspirational ideas for using listening, participation, anti-bias approaches, as well as pedagogical documentation will help us reflect on the ways we can grow democracy and inclusion in our work with young children.

This Café is designed for educators in early learning programs, kindergarten classrooms, home and licensed child care settings, and for resource consultants who work with children 1-6 years of age.

This Café supports the Ontario Ministry of Education’s:

The Kindergarten Program 2016:

  • Pedagogical Approach of Responsive Relationships

CECE Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice July 2017:

  • Standard I: Caring and Responsive Relationships
  • Standard 2: Curriculum and Pedagogy

About Suzanne Axelsson:

Suzanne Axelsson has over 25 years experience of working with children and education in a variety of settings and roles. Preschools, schools and museums etc – and as teacher, special needs teacher, director and consultant.

Suzanne has a Masters in Early Childhood Education from the University of Sheffield, UK, where she focused on the relevance of the Reggio Emilia Approach in education today, language development, pedagogical documentation as a tool for children and adults, as well as what creates a quality preschool.

Currently Suzanne works at Stockholm University teaching courses on the preschool teacher programme as well as a consultant in early years settings supporting educators with their democratic process. She also holds hands-on workshops with educators to explore how play is an essential language of learning, how to use philosophy with children and how STEAM can be woven into play. Keynotes and presentations are held on topics about Original Learning, democratic preschools (equity and inclusivity) and the pedagogy of listening/the Reggio Emilia Approach.

Suzanne has visited settings in UK, USA, Iceland, Canada, Palestine, Turkey, Greece, China etc – each place has inspired and allowed Suzanne to evolve as an educator and to share this learning journey with those she continues to meet.

Suzanne is passionate about all forms of play – risky play, role play, outdoor play, play and art, play with words, sensory play etc. as multiple ways children explore the world. As a mother of children on the autism spectrum inclusive learning and play environments is something always close to her heart.

Since 2012 Suzanne has been sharing her learning journey on her blog, Interaction Imagination; she is also in the process of writing a book about Original Learning

What should you expect?

  • A 1.5 hour live online conversation with Suzanne Axelsson that includes both large and small-group discussions
  • Opportunity for reflections and Café feedback
  • Certificate of completion
  • Ongoing access to this café’s supplementary materials

What do I need in order to participate?

This program includes a live, participatory online conversation among all the participants. Therefore, in order to participate, you will need the access to:

  • an internet device: a computer (laptop or desktop) or tablet (iPad or Android tablet)
  • your device must include a camera and microphone
  • a high-speed internet connection (at least 5 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speeds)
  • We highly recommend that you complete the free ELC Cafe called “The Early Learning Café Meeting Space” Completing this café will ensure that you have the required hardware and application (RingCentral Meetings) for your computer, that they are working properly, and you are able to access our online meeting space.

Early Learning Café is an online learning space that  inspires early learning educators and supports their professional learning.

We invite you to discover new ideas, engage in conversations, collaborate with others and create new understandings with current pedagogical practices.

Online Conversations