Guardian Early Learning Group Opens Pedagogical Exchange


Guardian Early Learning Group has officially its world-class Pedagogical Exchange in Melbourne, Victoria. The Exchange is the first of its kind in Australia, and sets a national benchmark in education training for the early learning sector.

To celebrate the opening of the Pedagogical Exchange in Melbourne’s inner-city suburb of Richmond, Guardian is hosting the internationally acclaimed Reggio Children’s Hundred Languages of Children Exhibition in collaboration with Reggio Emilia Australia Information Exchange (REAIE), which documents the incredible capabilities of the children at the renowned infant toddler centres and preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy.



Nicki Garnett & Shayne Kline                Jim Lee Photo


Tom Hardwick, CEO of Guardian Early Learning Group, says that as a world-class training and education facility, the Pedagogical Exchange will have a significant impact on the Australian early learning sector. In the first year, we plan to have more than 2,500 educators participate in our training programs as part of our commitment to developing better educators and a professional learning network.

“We are thrilled to be hosting the highly regarded and exclusive Hundred Languages of Children Exhibition at the Pedagogical Exchange as it provides a professional learning opportunity that will develop the knowledge base for trainers and educators,” says Tom.



Tom Hardwick and Simon Cavagnah             Jim Lee Photo


“This collaboration shows how the Pedagogical Exchange can facilitate internationally acclaimed educational exhibits, and the active exchange of ideas with educators, children, families and the broader community.”

The Hundred Languages of Children Exhibition, which has been touring the world for 35 years, provides unique and intriguing insights into how children think through photographs, words, paintings, drawing and sculptures. It brings to life the Reggio Emilia philosophy that children are competent in building knowledge and seeking meaning.



Jody Kingston, Kerrie O’Neil and Karen Szyclick         Jim Lee Photo


The Exhibition is open to Australian educators and the general public, and provides clarity on what we are trying to achieve at Guardian by making learning visible and showing families that the education system has evolved,” explains Tom. “We believe the Hundred Languages of Children Exhibition shows our commitment to driving professional advocacy for children and setting a new national benchmark in early learning education.”
Emphasising this commitment, the net proceeds from the Hundred Languages of Children Exhibition will fund a Guardian scholarship for Australian educators working with Indigenous children to attend the Reggio Emilia International Study Tour, in Italy, for the next three years.

Visitors to the Exhibition will also be able to experience the new Pedagogical Exchange, which, includes an exhibition space, materials store, art studio, documentation centre, resources library and Early Learning Centre. Housed in a repurposed Australia Post distribution centre, the Pedagogical Exchange has been specially designed to encourage the exchange of theories, ideas, resources and materials between families, educators and children.


Ped X Art Studio 2


Reflecting Guardian’s dedication to creating a sustainable future for children, the Pedagogical Exchange uses its materials store and art studio to run the Guardian Exchange Project, which recycles, reuses and repurposes waste materials for creative learning opportunities.

Kathryn Waugh, Head of Curriculum and Quality at Guardian Early Learning Group, says that both the Pedagogical Exchange and the Exhibition shine a new light on how Guardian is preparing children for school, life and career.  “If children enjoy learning, they learn in a meaningful way, so our educators use strategies to purposefully draw out deeper thinking via interest-led learning, through which they build the foundation skills to be capable thinkers and successful learners,” Kathryn explains. “This can be a challenging concept for some parents who have more traditional approach to learning, so the Hundred Languages of Children Exhibition demonstrates the complex thinking that children are capable of, brings it to life, and provides evidence of their capabilities by moving them through the theory to practice.



Kathryn Waugh, Claire de Crespigny, Libby Cummins and Kristy Liljegren                                 Jim Lee Photo


“To achieve these quality outcomes, you need educators who are well trained to apply specific teaching strategies to support children’s complex thinking and provide high-quality learning.” continues Kathryn Waugh. “This is why the Pedagogical Exchange is so important because it is geared to provide that training. With trainers assembled from leading private schools and the Reggio Emilia Australian Information Exchange, all with over 20-plus years experience, we have the best in the business to deliver on that promise of ‘best in practice’.”

The Hundred Languages of Children Exhibition will be on display from February to July 2017. The last time the exhibit was in Melbourne was September 2010, so this is a unique opportunity.

For tickets and information on the different sessions visit

For more information about Guardian Early Learning visit

Educators are invited to attend workshops or open days to gain insights into the Reggio Emilia approach.  Groups wishing to visit the exhibit or to undertake a professional development day, should



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