13 February 2018

New scholarship will support Creators’ vision to lead Reggio Emelia practice in New Zealand.

A new scholarship has been developed to enable kaiako to further their knowledge and pedagogical development within the Creators Educational Trust setting.

Established in November 2018, the Creators Scholarship is an award of up to $10,000 for educators to undertake further study or development opportunities to enhance their teaching practice.

Creators CEO David Gibson says the scholarship is designed to develop and enhance the skills educators need to facilitate lifelong learning in the constantly-evolving world our children/tamariki are growing up in.

“The first few years of a child’s life are incredibly vital for brain development, and it’s important to us at Creators that we create beautiful, nurturing environments for our children to thrive in, and that our teachers and educators are empowered to be nimble and resourceful as the world evolves around us,” he says.

“The Scholarship is about giving ‘wings’ to our educators who are passionate about driving the pedagogy forward in New Zealand and to then share the knowledge they have gained with their peers.

“We value our educators very much and we’re so proud to have a network of warm, nurturing and passionate people guiding our children through their first few years. This is our way of thanking them and enabling their pursuit of ongoing learning.”

Creators is guided by four core principles for nurturing the development of children aged 0-5. These principles are based around love and connection, nature, values-based learning and the Reggio Emelia approach. The Reggio Emelia approach recognises that children are born with unlimited potential and a life full of possibility, and the educational philosophy promotes inquiry learning and problem-solving with an emphasis on a connection with each other and nature.

David says the recipient of the Scholarship will embody these qualities in their educational practice and be committed to sharing the new skills and knowledge they have gained from further development and training.

“It’s important that knowledge and information is shared widely for others to learn from and to hopefully incorporate into the learning experiences they create. That learning can take the form of educational materials, or hosting a workshop or information session for other teachers.

“We feel that this way, we’re providing far-reaching opportunities for growth and development and supporting the interests of our teachers at the same time, while working towards our common goal of being leaders in innovative learning.”

The Scholarship will be awarded annually, with applications made in writing to the Creators board of trustees. The total annual scholarship fund is $10,000, but applications from multiple people can be made for amounts less than that during the calendar year with a total of $10,000 per year to be awarded. Applications will be assessed and awarded based on their alignment with Creators’ learning models and the educator’s willingness to share what they’ve learnt with the wider network.  

 Inaugural recipient awarded

The inaugural recipient of the Scholarship is Creators Forest Lake kaiako Mariah Quinn.


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Mariah has been awarded $5000 in financial assistance to support her travel to an international study group for the Reggio Emelia approach, held in Reggio Emelia, Italy. The study group is part of wider travel Mariah is doing herself to experience other innovative learning approaches and pedagogy in Europe.

Mariah has been kaiako of Creators Forest Lake since February 2016. During that time she has progressed from a university graduate to a fully registered senior teacher of the kindergarten room. In the years she has been with us, Mariah has led several projects and experiences which have included environmental remodels, forest programmes, class excursions, exhibition collections and mentorship of two Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) students.

At university she was a summer scholar for Professor Margaret Carr at the Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research at the University of Waikato, where she developed an interest in the Reggio Emelia approach.

David says Creators is proud to contribute towards Mariah’s professional development by assisting with her trip to Reggio Emelia in Italy.

“Mariah has developed extraordinary skills as a teacher in the time she has been with Creators, and we’re proud to support her aspirations to develop her pedagogical practice and to nurture the principles of the Reggio Emelia approach in the New Zealand context.”