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Detail Mentor Profile: JEANNE MARIE LORIO

The Transformative Learning Foundation


Jeanne Marie Lorio

Teachers College, Columbia University, Ed.D. 2007

I have always been drawn to learning that disrupts the construct of school and views children as capable. This is reflective of my teaching experiences in a variety of non-traditional classroom settings. My pedagogy is grounded in listening to children and responding by creating child-initiated environments rich with the voices of children. For over 20 years, I have studied the work in the infant, toddler, and preschool municipality schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy. This study has inspired my research focused on rethinking child-adult conversations as aesthetic experiences. Further research practices and interests include utilizing arts-based research methodologies, understanding power differences between children and adults, and building sustainable communities within and beyond early childhood. As an educator, I believe in supporting teachers to become agents of change, using a critical perspective to interrogate, disrupt, develop, and rethink educational practice and policy that honors children, families, and communities as competent and capable.

Jeanne served as an associate professor at the University of Hawai’i-West Oahu and currently is a Senior Lecturer at Victoria University in Australia.


  • Harvard University, Ed.M. 2000
  • University of Maryland, B.S. 1994



Jeanne lives in 

Melbourne, Australia


SDGI Courses

PM 527: Making Learning Visible: Documentation and the Infant, Toddler, and Preschool Municipality Schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy (3 credits)

Learners read and discuss the history and pedagogies of the infant, toddler, and preschool municipality schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy. This course focuses on the practice of documentation where teachers record theories, actions, conversations, memories, and experiences of children in order to build curriculum. Learners actively engage with documentation by practicing deep listening and observing of children, building documentation panels, and developing teacher responses.

PM 528: Child-Adult Conversations as Aesthetic Experiences (3 credits)

What happens when teachers consider their conversation with children as aesthetic experiences? The course examines a working theory where child-adult conversations are framed through aesthetic experience research. Learners study theories regarding aesthetic experience, consider the roles of power and relationships within these conversations, review conversation data, and further develop theories about child-adult conversations.

PM 529: Rethinking Early Childhood Education (3 credits)

Often early childhood is equated with traditional conceptions of practices like thematic units, circle time, and calendar, never trusting children as capable to think beyond simplistic concepts or consider complex theories. This course focuses on early childhood practices founded in social justice, furthering curiosity and empathy, engaging in advocacy and activism, and developing an awareness of the local and global communities.


Publications/Presentations/Professional Projects

  • Rethinking Readiness in Early Childhood Education, Implications for Policy and Practice. Editors: Iorio, J., Parnell, W., Borch, Karl (Eds.) (2015)

Refereed Journal Articles

  • Iorio, J.M. & Tanabe, C.S. “Fear + Manipulation = Privatization.” Teachers College Record March 08, 2013
  • Adler, S. & Iorio, J.M. (2013). “Progressive education: Past, present, and future: Progressive pedagogies in early childhood education.” International Journal of Progressive Education, 9(2), pp. 129-144.
  • Iorio, J.M. & Adler, S. M. “Take a number, stand in line, better yet, be a number get tracked: The assault of longitudinal data systems on teaching and learning.” Teachers College Record, March 08, 2013
  • Iorio, J.M. & & Visweswaraiah, H. (2012). “Crossing Boundaries: A variety of perspectives on preschool stories.” Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology. 12 (Special Edition).
  • Henward, A. & Iorio, J.M. “What’s Teaching and Learning got to do with it?: Bills, Competitions, and Neoliberalism in the Name of Reform.” Teachers College Record, August 25, 2011
  • Iorio, J.M. & Visweswaraiah, H. (2009). “Rethinking research: How the teacher’s voice creates new understandings of child-adult conversations as aesthetic experiences.” Arts and Learning Journal, 25(1), pp. 109-129.
  • Iorio, J.M. (2008). “Conversation as a Work of Art: will it hang in a museum?”, Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 7(3), pp. 297-305.
  • Iorio, J.M. & Zumwalt, K. “The lost nation: What happened to the children’s ‘Better World’”? Teachers College Record. October 28, 2008
  • Iorio, J.M. (2006). “Rethinking conversation.” Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 7(3), pp. 279- 287.

Blog publications



  • Disrupting Early Childhood Education Research: Imagining New Possibilities Taylor and Francis (2016)

Book Chapters

  • Adler, S. & Iorio, J. M. (2015). “Progressive education: Past, present, and future: Progressive pedagogies in early childhood education.” In Drayton, B. (Ed.). Handbook on progressive education. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.
  • Parnell, W., Carlis Dickey, L., & Iorio, J.M. (2014). “Loving Tulips Across Three Years: A Long-term Project Story Begins.” In Elizabeth Quintero and Mary Kay Rummel’s (Eds.), Storying: A path to our future: Artful thinking, learning, teaching, and research. (pp. x-x). New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.
  • Parnell, W., Iorio, J.M., Carlis Dickey, L. (2014). “Conversations: A Tulip Tallness from the
Ground.” In Elizabeth Quintero and Mary Kay Rummel’s (Eds.), Storying: A path to our future: Artful thinking, learning, teaching, and research. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.
  • Parnell, W. & Iorio, J.M. (2015). “Collages and action research: A gathering of materials, metaphor, and meaning-making.” In J. Burdick, J. Lammers, M. Hollis, & E. (Eds.), (Re)Imagining Social Research: Narrative, Arts-Based, and Post- Approaches to Inquiry. New York: Sage.
  • Adler, S.M. & Iorio, J.M. (2012). “Empowering teachers of young children: Moving students from agents of surveillance to agents of change”. In J. Faulkner (Ed.), Disrupting Pedagogies and Teaching the Knowledge Society: Countering Conservative Norms with Creative Approaches. Hershey: IGI Global.
  • Iorio, J.M. & Visweswaraiah, H. (2010). “Do daddies wear lipstick and other child-teacher conversations exploring constructions of gender.” In T. Jacobson (Ed.), Gender Perspectives in Early Childhood, St. Paul, MN: Red Leaf Press.


Children as Capable: The Role of Community in the View of the Child (2013-present)
In collaboration with Mid-Pacific Institute Preschool, Honolulu, HI

A well-established preschool in Honolulu views the child as capable and implements daily practice based on listening and responding to children, inspired by the ideas of the schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy. The work in this preschool community provides a concrete example of practice that rethinks the common frame of the child as deficit and moves beyond preschool as a mechanism of preparation or economic benefit. Rather, preschool becomes a place where childhood is celebrated and joy is part of learning and teaching. The original configuration of this preschool was as two separate classrooms. This year marks a transition of joining the two classrooms into one large community. This study aims to document the development of a community viewing children as capable and how the adults that are part of this community engage in this transition as both teacher and researcher. Data collection includes document review and active interviews with teachers.

Rethinking child-adult conversation as aesthetic experience (2007-present)
Funded by University Research Council Research Relations Grant, University of Hawai`i system

This research focuses on recognizing the phenomenon of preschool child-adult/teacher conversations as aesthetic experiences and comprehending the influences on adult response within these conversations, revealing the critical relationship between child and adult/teacher. Contexts include New York City and Honolulu.

LGBTI & Early Childhood Experiences (2009-present)

Funded by Diversity and Equity Initiative Grant, University of Hawai`i system. In collaboration with Dr. Andy Reilly, University of Hawai`i, Dr. Richard Johnson, University of Hawai`i, and Dr. Allison Henward, University of Hawai`i, John Patrick Onesta, University of Hawai`i

Early educators need to understand the consequences of their actions and beliefs when working with LGBTI students. Using interviews with LGBTI adults about their early childhood experiences, we are creating a documentary for early childhood educators. Our hope is the documentary will serve as a catalyst for rethinking practice to be inclusive to all.

Action Research Experiences (Research Project, 2009-present)

In collaboration with Dr. Will Parnell, Portland State University

Action research offers the possibility of teachers building theory while simultaneously improving practice. As early childhood professors working with two different populations of teachers, action research is an essential part of our programs, presenting access for teachers to connect theory and practice in supported and genuine teaching situations. Using two different early childhood education populations, we consider the perspectives of the students engaging in action research and our own viewpoints as teacher educators. Methodology includes art-based practices as the participants and co-researchers create images through collage in an attempt to see multiple perceptions of the action research process.

Preschool Stories (Research Project, 2008-2012)

In collaboration with Hema Visweswaraiah, University of Denver

Creating ways to share the wonder and thought of a child engaged in an emergent curriculum is often impeded by traditional reports cards. Writing year-long preschool stories based on everyday documentation was an attempt to create a means that reflected the complexity of children’s experiences and thought processes within negotiated curriculum as well as the nuances of each individual student and the teachers working as researchers within the preschool community. These stories imply trust between the child and teacher. The teacher trusts the child’s experience as the primary data source for the preschool stories and does not look outside the community at pre-constructed assessment tools to understand the life of the child. The purpose of this research was to re-examine preschool stories from the perspectives of the original creator (a head teacher in the preschool), a co- head teacher within the same community, the child featured in the selected stories, and the family of the child. Drawing and collage making are the primary methodology for data collection.