69. Reading The World, with Dr. Edna Hussey

My guest for this first episode of our 3rd season is Dr. Edna Hussey, a passionate and dedicated educator committed to the advancement of an educated citizenry, children’s rights to quality learning AND the professionalism of teachers. Mention Dr.  Hussey’s name anywhere in Hawaiʻi and you will get mad respect and admiration. Folks say she operates at a different level, which I am sure she would humbly reject. She KNOWS what school could be because she has done it, repeatedly. Dr. Hussey is the principal of Mid-Pacific Institute’s preschool and elementary school, and was the former head of Epiphany School, which merged with Mid-Pacific in 2004.  Her educational experiences span a wide range of ages of learners, from kindergarten through college, and teaching professionals. In this episode Dr. Hussey and I addressed some big questions, including the definition of an “astute teacher,” the nature of a Reggio Emilia education, what happens in the Zone of Proximal Development, how to help kids love reading and writing, her vision for “A New Literacy” and “reading the world,” the value of educator and education leader blogs, and much, much more. Dr. Hussey launched Hawaii’s first Reggio Emilia-inspired preschool at Mid-Pacific in 2005. She and Leslie Gleim coordinated the famed Reggio Emilia Wonder of Learning Exhibit in 2013 and the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance Summer Conference. She earned her doctorate in education as a member of the first University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa cohort in professional educational practice. Recently, Dr.  Hussey was recognized as a Pacific Business News “Women Who Mean Business” honoree. The award recognizes outstanding women from public and private companies, and nonprofits who have made a difference in their industries and communities. Mid-Pacific’s Kupu Hou Academy Director, Dr. Mark Hines, wrote the following about Dr. Hussey: “What stands out most about Edna is her unwavering work on behalf of our keiki.  She gives of herself wholeheartedly to make a difference in the lives of teachers who through her gentle and firm hand make a difference in the lives of their students. Due to her guidance, the PreK-5  program at Mid-Pacific is unmatched in their implementation of Reggio and Inquiry approaches in learning. You can walk in any classroom and see student-centered engaged learning happening that is based on the best research on child development. Just as importantly, she commits her time not just at Mid-Pacific, but with programs across the state and around the world to share, learn and build a better understanding of what learning should be for every child. She is grace under pressure, a reassuring voice and a staunch advocate of ‘Children First.'” Mid-Pacific Institute’s President, Dr. Paul Turnbull testifies that, “Dr. Hussey is a pillar of the education community; a person who has dedicated her professional life to children and to improving the quality of environments in which they learn and play. Faculty and staff are truly blessed to have such an accomplished and dedicated professional leading the preschool and elementary school program.” Original theme music and sound engineering provided by Daniel Gilad at DG Sound Creations. Please send your feedback to MLTSinHawaii@Gmail.com, and we would love it if you gave us a review and a five-star rating!