Susan Harris MacKay is Pedagogical Director of Portland Children's Museum and Opal School, where Matt Karlsen is Professional Development Director. They are teachers, researchers, authors, and parents who rely on the strong relationship between beauty and justice to shape learning environments that promote freedom and democracy. They work closely together to advance Opal School's mission of strengthening education through provoking fresh ideas concerning environments where curiosity, creativity, and the wonder of learning thrive. You can learn more about Opal School - and Susan and Matt - at

Gems World Academy, Dubai
Al Barsha South
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
+971 (0) 4 373-6373

8:30 am to 4:00 pm
Registration at 8.00 am
on the 22nd January 2021.

Deep Dive Sessions: Engaging with stories from Opal School's practice, opportunity to engage with materials, and time to reflect and consider implications to your setting. Particular attention will be paid to Story Workshop, an approach birthed at Opal School which has flowered in learning communities around the world.

"Today's puzzle," writes Jamie Holmes, "is to figure out what to do - in our jobs, relationships, and everyday lives - when we have no idea what to do." This conference thread considers how Playful Inquiry guides early childhood programs to respond to that challenge through becoming places where people learn to practice embracing uncertainty, developing empathy and agency, and opening doors to unimagined possibilities. Playful Inquiry describes a learning ecosystem, informing relationships between and amongst a school's children, staff, and families. Playful Inquiry is invited and sustained through inspiring curiosity, seeking connections, nurturing empathy, sharing stories, and exploring playfully.

Since 2001, Opal School in Portland, Oregon, has worked with children age 3 through grade five to provoke fresh ideas concerning environments where curiosity, creativity, and the wonder of learning thrive.



USD 750 Early Bird Offer 1st June 2020
USD 790 Closing Date 1st December 2020

INCLUDES: Certificate of Participation for 16 Professional Development hours, Lunch and 2 coffee breaks.