Early Childhood Speaker: Teacher Tom

Keynote: 9:30-11:00 Educating citizens through play
Tom speaks about how children’s play brings the habits and principles of democracy into ‘early years’ classrooms. He will begin by discussing the purpose of education in democratic societies and how and why we have managed to veer so far from the original intent, which is to educate citizens capable of contributing to the grand experiment of self-governance. In this full-throated support for play-based education, he details through his illustrative classroom stories and examples exactly how his curriculum works. Participants will learn the benefits of
introducing these playful principles to their own students, the hallmarks of what makes a good citizen both in a classroom as well as a democracy, the traits and habits required for self-governance, and practical tips on how to implement these ideas in their own classrooms. It is an inspiring, often touching, often hilarious, and always eye-opening and empowering presentation.

Brunch (Provided) 11:00-12:00

Speaking with children so they can think 12:00-1:30
In a very real sense, the language we use creates reality. Tom speaks on how the specific words we use, and how and when we use them, shapes reality for our students for both good and bad. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the importance of: being clear and precise with language; honoring children without commanding or bossing them; using words to create a world of facts and intrinsic motivation; creating space in which children must do their own thinking and make their own decisions; and supporting children as they learn from the natural consequences of their behaviors.

Wellness Break (Snack/Walk) 1:30-2:00

The education instinct 2:00-3:30
Tom speaks about the meaning of education for the human beings and how we have evolved as the animal whose survival is most reliant upon passing along the accumulated knowledge and achievements of prior generations. While education has always been a core human activity, schools are a relatively recent phenomenon. Tom will discuss how traditional schools fail to take into account the realities of our drive to educate ourselves, and often wind up perverting and squelching this adaptive instinct. Participants will learn the benefits of designing curricula that takes advantage of the education instinct as well as practical ideas for how to implement these ideas in their own classrooms.


Medicine Hat College Theatre
299 College Dr SE
Medicine Hat AB  T1A 3Y6

Date & Time:

February 8, 2020 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

For more information and to register, go here.