Debi Keyte Hartland is an early years expert and TEDx speaker with over 25 years’ experience working across the UK in schools, the PVI sector and with educational organisations. She also works internationally with schools in China, Singapore, Brazil, Switzerland, Canada, Norway, Senegal, and Sweden.
She is an associate lecturer with CREC (Centre for Research for Early Childhood) with Birmingham City University, co-writing and delivering an MA module on Creativity and the Arts in Early Childhood Education. She is also an Associate Consultant with Early Education where she supports early years educators with training, resources and professional networks.
In 2009, she completed an MA in Education which focused on the creative and communicative approaches young children displayed in their drawings and graphics. This has led to many interesting collaborations looking at the role and generative contexts of drawing as a language of expression but also as a way of developing and communicating theories that children hold about concepts or knowledge about the world.
Debi is passionate about young children’s learning and the role of the teacher and the way in which the arts and creativity play a central role in developing understanding and knowledge, creativity and critical thinking and the expression and communication of children’s own thoughts and ideas. She currently facilitates learning networks and co-ordinating educational research projects with children and educators as co-researchers as well as offering training, consultancy and whole settings professional development.
Debi draws on many influences such as Gregory & Nora Bateson (the study of systems and complexity) and the Pre-Schools and Infant-Toddler Centres of Reggio Emilia in Italy. She encountered the work of Loris Malaguzzi more than 25 years ago and it has since served as a pillar of inspiration and ethical reference that continually transforms and shapes her work with children, their educators, family and community. She is a Co-Director of Sightlines Initiative (The International Network Member of Reggio Children in the UK) and thus has attended many study tours on differing subjects such documentation, transitions, and the role of the atelierista. She is currently studying with Reggio Children on their Teacher-Educator programme looking at the circulatory of conversations and learning contexts, and pedagogical documentation processes and the interpretation/visibility of learning.