Originally a full-time preschool teacher, Dr. Rene Hackney now holds a Master?s in school psychology and a PhD. in developmental psychology from George Mason University. She trained at the Developmental Clinic at Children?s National Medical Center and for the public schools, teaching in parenting programs at each. She has also acted as a consultant to several area preschools.
For the last four years, Dr. Hackney has owned and lectured for Parenting Playgroups, Inc, a parenting resource center and preschool classroom in Alexandria Virginia. She has offered workshops to a wide
range of parent, teacher and social work groups during this time.
Workshop topics include eight hours on positive discipline techniques, five hours on early academic issues and common issues such as sibling rivalry and potty training. All workshops provide well researched lecture, in-class practice and open discussion time. Additionally she hosts a monthly parenting focused book club and fun play programs to introduce the preschool setting to young families.
Dr. Hackney is married and has two young children of her own.
Host:What is the Regio Amelio program?
Rene Hackney: Regio Amelio program at preschool are considered a project oriented approach where the teachers are taught to listen to the children and listen for their interest and then let the children s interest guide the curriculum. So, while a Regio Amelio four year old teacher may know they are going to get to grouping numbers in the winter, she doesn t know what the topic is going to be. So, if she is listening well and her children seem really interested in the farm and in farming, then they go visit a farm and they make their curriculum based around the farm.
So, they learn number grouping through counting eggs of chickens or the children may after they visit the farm get interested in the food supply and then they go visit a grocery store and they make a grocery store in the classroom. It is that Regio Amelio is really this project centered approach that follows the children s lead. Now, the nice thing about that is children love to go to school because it is all about what they are interested in as opposed to being a teacher led curriculum.