The Hundred Languages Conference

Where do we know what we know? Material Imagination in Education

On April 17th, David Gersten delivered a keynote address at the Hundred Languages Conference hosted by the New York City Encounters with Reggio Emilia group.

The term "the Hundred Languages" grew out of the schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and refers to each individual's ability to think and communicate through multiple creative languages, such as visual, dramatic, musical, as well as written word. This professional development conference focused on the expansive potential that ordinary materials hold as vehicles of expression for people of all ages.

The question of ‘where do we know what we know?’ speaks to the relationship between ‘embodied experience’ and ‘embodied knowledge’. The experiences of making and of direct engagement with the material world, are essential components in the development of fully embodied knowledge; they open up the possibility of education as a communicative exchange between individuals, materials, and their social environment.