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.

Lella Gandini

Lella Gandini

The world renown educator Lella Gandini, Ph.D, serves as the Reggio Children’s United States Liaison for the Dissemination of the Reggio Emilia approach. Adjunct Professor of Education at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Visiting Scholar at Lesley University (2007–2009). From her arrival in America in 1972, through her tenure at Smith College (2008 recipient of the Medal for Distinguished Alumnae) and currently, she has been a tireless champion of young children. Lella has co-authored numerous books, including The Hundred Languages of Children: The Reggio Emilia Approach, Beautiful Stuff!: Learning with Found Materials and the recently released Beautiful Stuff from Nature.with Cathy Topal.

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.

Stacey Wellman, Ph.D

Stacey Wellman of The Greeley School

Stacey Wellman, MA, CCC-SLP, LD is a Speech/Language Pathologist at the Greeley School of Winnetka, IL. Stacey has undergraduate and graduate degrees from Northwestern University, including a bachelors of science degree from the School of Speech, a masters degree in speech/language pathology and audiology, a masters degree in learning disabilities, as well as earning a reading certificate. She has received advanced training from the All Kinds of Minds Institute at North Carolina, Chapel Hill, the Floor Time Method developed by Dr. Stanley Greenspan, RAD Learning pioneered by Judy Willis, MD, MEd, as well as extensive coursework in occupational therapy, neurodevelopmental training, environmental education, community stewardship, and ecotherapy. Stacey has worked in the public schools for 23 years with children from age 3 to 14. Outside of the public school, she works with high school and college level students on organization and integrated thinking and learning strategies. In addition, she runs a Roots and Shoots program and travels internationally with students, believing that learning must extend beyond the classroom and into nature..

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.