Study Tours

Full-Day or Multi-Day Reflective Practice & Emergent Curriculum Training at Our Centers

Get inspiration and practical strategies to support your work with children and families.

Explore child-centered and responsive curriculum planning, learning how to observe, reflect on, and develop play-based learning opportunities directly from children’s interests.

Observe children and educators at work in the classrooms and study examples of responsive curriculum projects with the educators who facilitate them.

Talk through the challenges of child-centered and responsive curriculum with other educators. Ask questions, offer your experiences, and get practical suggestions for your own work.

Join us for a full-day or multi-day Study Tour visit to see child-centered and reflective practice in action, explore proven models for supporting responsive curriculum in your own programs, and talk directly with educators from our classrooms who can discuss practical strategies for planning curriculum that builds directly from the interests and needs of the children and families in our schools.

A Study Tour experience is a great way to introduce new staff to child-centered and responsive approaches to curriculum. They are a great way to launch your child-centered and reflective practice journey. Come lay a solid foundation for your practice.

We get it, responsive curriculum can be hard to practice! See real-life examples of what child-centered practice can look like in your classroom.

Pedagogical Documentation

How – and why – do we notice and record the work and play happening in our classrooms…and how do we share those stories with children, families, and colleagues? Participants will practice using formats for documenting children’s learning, including the “Learning Stories” model developed in New Zealand.

How can we shift our reliance on pre-planned, teacher-directed curricula, and design learning based on the students’ interests and questions? Participants will discuss structures for uncovering children’s interests and engaging in reciprocal planning. This session will include practice with protocols for studying children’s work, for the purposes of making meaning and planning responsive curriculum.

How could we welcome family members to our programs, meet with them through the year, and include them in planning curriculum and assessing their children? Participants will encounter strategies for connecting with families that can lead to deeper collaboration, and partnership in support of children’s learning.

In-Depth Investigations

How might we take inspiration from children’s questions, comments, and play to develop longer-term studies and research projects in our classrooms? Participants will explore models for scaffolding in-depth studies with children and hear stories from current classroom educators that describe a variety of small-group and large group investigations.

Anti-Bias Education

How do we support children to be competent citizens in a diverse world, in conjunction with a child-centered responsive curriculum? Participants will unpack the complexities of working towards equity and social justice in early childhood classrooms and consider both responsive and proactive opportunities for developing cultural competence and furthering the goals of Anti-Bias Education.

Want to visit us? Email with some dates to express interest!

*Study Tour dates will be selected based on availability of organizational staff. Each tour can accommodate up to 15 attendees.

Study Tours Include:

  • The story of Hilltop’s transformation from a small neighborhood preschool to a respected model for authentic child-centered early learning.
  • An opportunity to observe reflective practice in action with children, educators, and classrooms.
  • Time to explore practical strategies for how to observe, reflect on, and build curriculum from the interests and needs of children.
  • An introduction to pedagogical documentation, an approach to recording and tracking children’s growth that enables teachers to both reflect on and develop curriculum directly from children’s play.
  • Opportunities to consider your own practice and add your experience to the dialogue about successful strategies, on-going challenges, and deep intentions for our work with children and families.
  • Real life examples of successful long-term project work with young children, demonstrating a variety of styles and approaches.
  • A catered lunchtime conversation with educators, offering the opportunity to share your questions, struggles, and wonderings with other early learning professionals.
  • Certificate of Participation

Fees for Tours

Group Rate (6-15 attendees): $157.50 per attendee
Individual Rate (1-5 attendees): $175 per attendee
Returning Rate: $85 per attendee

We value relationships and continue learning over time; therefore, we offer a nearly 50% discount for returning Study Tour attendees!