Meeting with Carla Rinaldi | 3-4 July 2019

Reggio Emilia x Lifelong Labs

Prepared by Mo Kwok

M.Ed Harvard University | J.D. University of Hong Kong (Candidate) | B.A. University of Chicago


  1. EXCHANGE ideas on the Reggio Emilia Approach on Re-imagining Retirement / Lifelong Learning / Adulthood

  2. DEVELOP curricular innovations in childcare training for lifelong learners and or international intergenerational artist residencies

  3. EXPLORE possibilities for collaboration in pilot, research and publishing


  • NEUROPLASTICITY not too late and not too early to make new neurons and construct new neural pathways

  • POETIC QUALITY OF LIFE learners deserve stimulating environments and supporting relationships

  • ONE HUNDRED LANGUAGES embracing process, multiple intelligence and learner diversity

By the time of compulsory schooling, we risk having squandered children’s resources and potential, making the rich child poor: rather than making children fit for school, we need schools that are fit for children.
— Rinaldi & Moss 2004

Ages 0-6

Given a stimulating environment, supportive relationships and relevant resource, all learners, however young or old, can achieve their dreams and produce high-quality work
— Mo Kwok, founder of lifelong labs

That’s why we curated a creative learning environment where learners are free to conduct their research, express their ideas through projects.


Our mini hydroponic farm project allows young makers to take responsibility and care daily for real goldfishes and Chinese Sacred Lilies.


Lifelong Labs is keen on documenting how young learners engage with the world in order to create relevant and meaningful projects with young learners.

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Ages 7-12

By the time of compulsory schooling, we risk having squandered children’s resources and potential, making the rich child poor: rather than making children fit for school, we need schools that are fit for children.
— rinaldi & moss (2004)

From sewing machines to 3D printers, we give learners the time, space and agency to experiment.

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Through local field trips (Instagram Pier in Sai Ying Pun), Lifelong Labs turns our surrounding city into an active and dynamic creative classroom.


We believe in giving children the tools to see the world through different lens so they learn to see from various perspectives.

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 Ages 13-17

Not everyone can be Mozart, but everyone can sing. I believe everyone is born creative, but it is educated out of us at school, where we are taught literacy and numeracy. Sure, there are classes called writing and art, but what’s really being taught is conformity.

Lifelong Labs partners with schools such as The Harbour School to give learners unique opportunities to take on ambitious creative projects in real-world settings, like renovating a recreational area in a week.


Learners of all ages use the expertise and array of tools at Lifelong Labs to complete passion projects and creative portfolios.


We believe that meaningful education extends beyond grades and textbooks, that’s why we strive to teach learners relevant real-world skills in and out of the classroom.

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We strongly believe education does not end with graduation, it is only the beginning.

Every stage of life longs for others. When one is young and eager, one aspires to maturity, and everyone older would like nothing better than to be young. We have equal things to teach each other. Life is most transfixing when you are awake to diversity, not only of ethnicity, ability, gender, belief, and sexuality but also of age and experience.
— andrew solomon
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We welcome speakers, parents and educators to share their ideas at Lifelong Labs to build a dynamic community of artists and entrepreneurs, makers and innovators.

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踏入AI世代, 知識日新月異,學如逆水行舟,不進則退。
In the AI era, knowledge changes, but learning is constant.
So proud to have been there for Mo Kwok as she opened her school Lifelong Labs. I love watching my students take the world by storm! This is why I do what I do. Congratulations again Mo!
— dr.linda nathan who taught building a democratic schools at the harvard graduate school of education
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 Questions for Carla Rinaldi

  • Do you believe that the principles of Reggio Emilia Approach is applicable to all ages?

  • If so, does documentation apply for adult learning? Which methods would work better for adults in your opinion?

  • How can we incorporate documentation in the learning process so that the child does not feel surveilled and so that it doesn’t interfere with the teaching?

  • Where is the line between privacy and documentation when trying to respect the child’s right to privacy but also record and review the child’s learning process?

  • What do you think is the role of creativity in the Reggio Emilia approach?

  • What is relational creativity and how is it related to the ways children form explanatory theories? (from Reimagining Childhood)

  • Do you have any suggestions for adding elements in the home to transform it into “the third teacher”?

  • How can we use documentation to reinforce memory and learning for children? (from Making Learning Visible)

We need a teacher who is sometimes the director, sometimes the set designer, sometimes the curtain and the backdrop, and sometimes the prompter. A teacher who is both sweet and stern, who is the electrician, who dispenses paint, and who is even the audience — the audience who watches, sometimes clap, sometimes remains silent, full of emotions, who sometimes judge with scepticism, and at other times applaud with enthusiasm.
— Loris Malaguzzi


Tuesday, 2 July 2019

AM CX 0233 Flight from Hong Kong to Milan, arriving at 7:30am

PM Drive from Milan to Reggio Emilia arrive at Hotel Posta

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

AM Visit to International Loris Malaguzzi Center

PM Meeting with Carla Rinaldi [To be confirmed]

Thursday, 4 July 2019

AM [To be confirmed]

PM [To be confirmed]

Friday, 5 July 2019

AM Depart from Reggio Emilia and fly back to Hong Kong 12:55pm


Lack of Childcare Centre in Hong Kong


Training Grandparents or Helpers  

Idea: Training grandparents the Reggio Emilia approach in Early Childhood Learning

  • Complementing Reggio approach child care training with tech training for grandparents

    • To show grandparents that young children are competent

    • To give grandchildren the opportunity to be teachers and help grandparents learn tech skills, strengthening the reciprocal knowledge building relationship

    • To teach grandparents the relevant digital tools for documentation

    • To foster a culture of research and curiosity for multidisciplinary topics in grandparents through training on internet research, search engines, reliable sources etc.

  • Creating a “community of practice” among Reggio Grandparents to share ideas, compare notes etc.

  • Encouraging grandparents to involve the parents or guardians in structuring the documentation process so that it can be understood and used for assessment by them as well

Possible Steps

  1. Seeing their grandchildren as competent and strong

    • Observe how well grandchildren listen in all different ways and pay attention with all their senses in order to learn new information

    • Notice how grandchildren are always ready to experiment and explore

  2. Understanding the way young children learn

    • Recognise the importance of helping grandchildren find meaning and coming up with explanatory theories

    • Find shared meanings with grandchildren and making connections through shared meanings

  3. Becoming a listener of 100 languages

    • Learn to Observe, Document, and Interpret grandchildren’s learning process

    • Learn different documentation techniques (photo/video/audio/notes etc.) and how to compile them digitally for easy access, storage,  and sharing

  4. Reviewing and assessing documentation over time

    • Share notes with fellow classmates/ grandparents to exchange ideas in Community of Practice (CoP)

    • Effective strategies for collaborating and communicating documentation notes to parents

  5. Becoming a renaissance grandparent

    • Learn to research and explore interdisciplinary topics online