Uninterrupted time for free play is essential to developing critical thinkers, problem solvers, and intellectually flexible learners. Journey along with educators Gina Miele and Debbie Piescor as they explore the concept of rebuilding the bridge of critical thinking and problem solving from nursery age to university level.
Filmed on May 30, 2019. Dr. Gina M. Miele, Assistant Professor of Italian and former Director of the Coccia Institute for the Italian Experience in America at Montclair State University, received her Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard University in 2003. She has published in Italica, Marvels and Tales, Fabula, Marvelous Transformations: An Anthology of Tales and Contemporary Critical Perspectives, the Greenwood Encyclopedia of Folktales and Fairy Tales, Teaching Fairy Tales, the Italian American Review, Altreitalie, and The Paterson Literary Review. She co-authored the Activities Manual of the textbook Parliamo Italiano! In 2014 and 2015, she presented at the NAEYC national conference on the principles of Reggio Emilia and play based learning. In 2016, Gina joined a panel with Debbie Piescor, Kathy Berkowitz and Lella Gandini at Montclair State University on the Reggio Emilia Approach: US Responses to an Italian Educational Philosophy. She is the mother of three children.
Debbie Piescor is a master teacher in a kindergarten/first grade combined classroom at a private NAEYC accredited, Reggio Emilia inspired school enrolling children from ages 3 to 7, nursery through first grade. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in both early elementary education as well as psychology from Caldwell University in New Jersey and is a member of Kappa Delta Epsilon, an honors fraternity for professional educators. Debbie has a published article in the March 2017 edition of Young Child entitled, Play as the Foundation for all Learning Domains Across Multiple Age Groups. She has attended NAEYC National Conventions in Washington D.C. and NYC, and presented several times in Chicago, Dallas, Orlando, and Washington, D.C. She has presented for the Association for Constructivist Teaching in Charleston, South Carolina, Kean University in New Jersey, and Columbia, North Carolina. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx