Alex Wolf | Dr. Vijal Parikh

Alex Wolf

Alex had a playful childhood and a bang-up education at Exeter, RISD and abroad. Through her work at Na2ure, Alex uses her RISD expertise to give children tools to express creatively through space, form, pattern and motion. Na2ure co-founder Dr. Vijal Parikh is fascinated by the brain and how we learn. As a consulting psychiatrist for ThriveNYC, he provides collaborative care for multiple primary clinics. His work with disadvantaged populations confirms the need for effective, creative learning tools that engage learners young and old.

Bradford Hansen-Smith

Bradford Hansen-Smith Author and sculptor Bradford Hansen-Smith has developed Wholemovement, an extensive system for teaching geometry through the folding of paper circles. Froebel pioneered the use of paperfolding as an educational activity, and Bradford has dramatically expanded the scope/depth of this tradition. Combining the process of observation and reflection with folding paper circles is a powerful way to engage the whole child (of any age).

Cathy Weisman Topal

Cathy TopalA visual arts educator at preschool through college levels for over 30 years, Cathy Topal is Professor Emerita of Arts Education in the Dept. of Education and Child Study at Smith College. Her work is influenced by Froebel. Author of Thinking with a Line and other books for Davis Art including Explorations in Art: Kindergarten (2008), Beautiful Stuff (1999), Children & Painting (1992), Children, Clay & Sculpture (1983), Cathy has just co-authored a new Davis book with Lella Gandini, entitled Beautiful Stuff from Nature.

John Reynolds, MArch

John Reynolds

Professor of Architecture at Miami University in Oxford, OH, John Reynolds employs Froebel Gifts in his design studios to explore new possibilities for sustainable design and organic architecture initially made famous by Frank Lloyd Wright. John has been intimately involved with planning, architectural design, site development and programming at Fallingwater, including a new visitor center in development with Architect Peter Bohlin at the Wescott House in Springfield, OH

Julie Bennett

Julie Bennett

Julie Bennett, M.Ed. has taught for over 25 years in private/public schools. Introduced to Froebel® in 2002, she sat on the original board of the Froebel Foundation USA. Stepping away from the board in 2004 for job and family obligations, Julie never lost sight of the pure sense of Froebelian teaching. Julie delivers a yearly lecture on Froebel to university education students. She'll lead several Gift plays during our event.

Lynn McNair

Lynn McNair

Dr Lynn McNair is Head of Cowgate Under Fives Centre in Edinburgh, Scotland, and is a Teaching Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. Watch video on her work here: https://vimeo.com/231591765 and https://vimeo.com/236197342 (password for both is "Froebel"). An award-winning author, Lynn has more than 30 years experience working in Early Years Education and was awarded an OBE for services to Early Education in 2009. She is a trained Froebelian, attaining her certificate at the Froebel Institute, Roehampton University, London, UK. The title of her presentation is "Vivid Life and Learning: Rendering through Lived Stories."

Scott Bultman

Scott BultmanAuthor, toymaker, and host of this year's conference, Scott Bultman has promoted the original Froebel Kindergarten method internationally since 1997, producing the upcoming documentary series, Garden of Children.The son of an early childhood educator (his mother was principal of a local child development center) and a toymaker (Uncle Goose Toys), his Froebel activity carries on both parents' work. Scott also produces Kaleidograph design toys with Norman Brosterman.

Tiffeni Goesel

Tiffeni GoeselTiffeni Goesel studied architecture and historic preservation (working for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation). She's a certified Waldorf grades teacher, with a B.A. in Education and M.A. in History of Education. Tiffeni developed her playful approach with children through experience a nanny and classroom/homeschool teacher. She authored the 2018 book How Lina Learned to Write and Read According to Friedrich Froebel from her deep research of the writings of Friedrich Froebel. Tiffeni makes frequent trips to Germany and has conducted classes on the Froebel method internationally since 2006.