The Heart Centered Teaching Institute presented by the Excellence Academy




The 2nd Annual Excellence Academy

Community Conference


The Heart Centered Teaching Institute

September 9, 2017 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM

Kentucky Science Center – Riverview Room

717 W. Main Street, Louisville, KY 40202


Click here to register now!



The Heart Centered Teaching Institute is the 2nd annual community conference presented by the Excellence Academy. It is an opportunity to examine teaching through connection and relationship and to learn how to really see children as they are through observation, documentation, and reflective practice. What is the process of planning child-led experiences? How do you teach with open-ended materials, honor the interests of the child and still prepare them for school? How can we transform our thinking from traditional ways of viewing children and their families? How do we teach from both our hearts and our heads? Join us to discover a different way of working and being with children. Learn from local teachers and coaches who practice heart centered teaching. Be inspired to embrace the whole child and rediscover your own joy of learning.


For the past several years the Excellence Academy has been working with a select group of child care centers to learn and implement best practices in their programs. We strive to help teachers, children, and administrators to love learning, build communities, and transform lives. We are inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to learning and have a strong focus on the development of the whole child. Excellence Academy educators practice heart-centered teaching and believe learning should be play-based and child-led. We use observation, documentation and reflective practice to support the natural curiosity that all children possess. We embrace joy as the heart of the learning process to engage the curious minds of children and adults. We continue to receive ongoing affirmation and research supports our practice that children learn best through play. We have become researchers alongside the child taking their curiosities, interests and thoughts into perspective in everything we do.  It has definitely proven to be a positive influence in and out of the classroom for both the children and educators. Through intentional observations, educators can learn about the individual child while building genuine relationships to support a healthy social emotional foundation of the child. Please join us as we visit the process of planning through reflective thinking and what the first steps are in doing this.


This opportunity is available for the low cost of $5 per participant. Directors are strongly encouraged to attend this professional development event along with their staff.

Institute Highlights include:

Keynote Speaker:  Julianne Wurm


  • Moving from Head to Heart-Centered Teaching
  • Offering Materials &  Observing with Joy
  • Making Meaning from What We See
  • Teacher Reflection
  • Breakout Session with Julianne Wurm

Breakfast and Lunch are included as well as optional time to explore the Kentucky Science Center after the conference.


About the Keynote Speaker – Julianne Wurm  

Julianne has over 20 years of experience in education, specifically curriculum and instruction. Julianne lived and worked in Italy and researched within the schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, and is the author of 2 books on her work there.  The best-selling, Working in the Reggio Way and its follow up, More Working in the Reggio Way are both written as practical guides geared towards teachers.  Her research has also been featured on the Katie Couric Show and published in the Harvard Business Review, CNN, and educational journals.

Ms. Wurm is an experienced qualitative and quantitative researcher and loves to ask and answer questions, drilling down on data for unique insights.  Julianne has led global initiatives that spanned across 60 countries and conducted large-scale international research projects.

Ms. Wurm has worked as both a teacher and professional developer in under-resourced schools in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco and was a member of Teach for America.  She has also worked as an instructor at Columbia University.

Ms. Wurm holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from California State University, Chico. She earned her MA in curriculum design and EdM in early childhood education from Teachers College at Columbia University, where she also completed her EdD.


Register Now!

If you have any questions, please contact Tammi Hudgins at

[email protected] or 502-618-5675.