Curriculum Vitae





  • Teacher, San Francisco Unified School District Pre-kindergarten and Children’s Centers 1972-1983
  • Co-founder and Director, Discovery Room for Children, New York City, 1969-1971
  • Teacher, New York City Public Schools, Grades 7, 5, 4, 1 and Kindergarten, 1962-1967
  • Full time Faculty, Pacific Oaks College, 1988-1992



  • Honolulu Community College cosponsored by  Seeing Young Children with New Eyes: What We’ve Learned from Reggio Emilia about Children and Ourselves  2016
  • Kaleidoscope Conference, Vancouver, WA 2015
  • Fullerton College Visiting Faculty, Lectures and workshops and classes on documentation, children of incarcerated parents, key words, claywork and more. April 2014
  • Singapore, Parent workshop for kindergarten parents at Chinese International School,  2014
  • Singapore, Street 11 Childcare Center Singapore,  Key Words Class 2014.
  • Consultant, Mid-Pacific Institute, Honolulu, Hawai’i. Nice vs. Real, Creating Boundaries in the early childhood classroom. 2014
  • Jardin de los Niños, Las Cruces, NM 2008 
    How to Help Children Better Express Themselves and Deal with Stress, April, 2005
  • New Hampshire Association for Infant Mental Health 
    Helping Children Cope With Hard Times:  Death, Divorce, September 11th, etc.  2004
  • ABAEYC (NJ) Helping Children Mind, 2004
  • Big Island AEYC [HI] Caring for the Spiritual Well-Being of a Child,
    (Ka malama ‘ana i na mana’o o ke keiki)  2004
  • Las Cruces [NM] Reggio Institute The Image of the Child2004
  • South Australian Reggio Emilia Interest Group, [Adelaide] Documentation, 2003
  • Darwin, Australia Northern Territory Children’s Services Conference, A rich arts program  supports the children in your ece classroom, 2003
  • Australian Curriculum Studies Association, [Adelaide] Opening panel: 
    A vision for education and what we must do to achieve it
    , 2003
  • Southwest Human Development Co. (Phoenix, AZ, Head Start) 
    Young Children Develop Resilience through their Daily Art Explorations, 2002
  • Hawai’i AEYC, Big Island Chapter, Sowing the Seeds for Success Conference, 
    Creativity Gets Children Through The Hard Times, 
  • Kenosha County, WI Resource and Referral Conference, 
    The Enchanted Child in the Real World: Children and the Arts, 
  • South Bend, IN, Young Learners Conference, 
    The Enchanted Child in the Real World:  Children and the Arts, 
  • East Central Illinois AEYC, Children Bring Their Own Agendas, 2000
  • Ohio Association for the Education of Young Children,
    The Many Languages in Which Children & Adults Tell Our Stories
    , 1999
  • Associated Colleges of Central Kansas, Introduction to Reggio Emilia, 1998
  • Ohio University Kennedy Visitor’s Lecture, Creativity and Children, 1998
  • Reading [PA]  Quest for Quality Early Childhood Conference, Child-Centered Teaching, 1998
  • Virginia Association of Independent Schools, Introduction to Reggio Emilia, 1997
  • Binghamton AEYC [NY] Parents, Teachers & Children Making Fantasy & Stories: 
    Lessons from Gianni Rodari
    , 1997
  • Durham Day Care Council [NC], Introduction to Reggio Emilia, 1997
  • UCLA [CA] Childcare Staffs Children and Creativity, 1997
  • Ithaca, NY Early Childhood Professional Day Hot Cognition:  Lessons from Reggio Emilia,
    Vivian Gussin Paley, &
     Sylvia Ashton-Warner, 1996.
  • New Hampshire AEYC, Keene State College & Head Start & Child & Family Services, Children and Creativity, 1996.
  • Bangor, [ME] AEYC. Lessons from Reggio Emilia, 1996
  • Bluegrass ACUS [TN] Saying Goodbye and Other Scary Times, 1991
  • Honolulu AEYC [HI] Helping Children Mind, 1990
  • Tucson AEYC [AZ] Holidays, Celebrations, and Rituals, 1990
  • Oklahoma ACUS Children Bring Their Own Agendas, 1990
  • Tennessee AEYC Helping Children Overcome Life’s Blows, 1989
  • Texas AEYC Respectful Cross-Cultural Teaching, 1988
  • Hoa ‘Aina O’Makaha [HI] Workshop on Alternative Schools1988
  • Louisiana ACUS Personal Courage for Teachers, 1987
  • Florida ACUS Child-Centered Teaching, 1986
  • Alachua County [FL] Childcare Coordinating Council 
    Dr. Martin
     Luther King Jr. & The Child of the Day, 1986
  • West Virginia AEYC Free to Be a Teacher, Free to Be a Child, 1986
  • Temple Univ. Dept. of  Afro-American Studies [PA]  Black Children in White Schools: What They Need & What They Get, 1986
  • Tucson AEYC [AZ] Saying Goodbye and Other Scary Times, 1985



  • San Francisco, (CA) SFCCPA 10TH ECE Conference two workshops: Children of Incarcerated Parents and Introduction to Reggio Emilia, 2016.
  • Seeing Young Children With New Eyes, a dialogue with the staff at Child Care Center of the Stanford Community, 2014.
  • Learning Through Observation and Documentation: Lessons from the world’s most child-focused program, The Reggio Emilia Approach. Aichi Prefectural University, Nagoya, Japan, 2014
  • Parent Workshop: How Wonderful the Children!  New ways to understand and support children’s play, conversations, and expressions of self. Nagoya, Japan, 2014
  • Children and Teachers Making Stories and Fantasy, Asian International College, Singapore 2014
  • Two Key Words  classes: One at “Child at Street Eleven” childcare centre, and the other for professionals, organized by EduRetreat – opening a door to ideas, education and diversity. Singapore, 2014.
  • Mid-Pacific Institute: Honolulu, HI, Nice vs. Real, Creating Boundaries in the Early Childhood Classroom, 2014
  • Parent workshop for kindergarten parents at Chinese International School, Singapore 2014.
  • Staff workshop at Jill’s Place, Portugal, 2014
  • Mid-Pacific Institute Community Conference: Honolulu, HI, So — What’s the Point of Documenting? With Leslie Gleim, 2007
  • Ohio Early Care & Education Conference: Columbus, OH, Children of Incarcerated Parents, 2007
  • O’ahu Association for the Education of Young Children, HI, The Reggio Emilia Image of the Child, 2007
  • Kamehameha Schools Early Childhood Education Division: Wai’anae, HI, Children and Creativity, 2007
  • Harbor House Child Care Program, San Francisco: Children of Incarcerated Parents: They do time, too!, 2006
  • San Francisco Head Start Social Work Team: Children of Incarcerated Parents: They do time, too!, 2005
  • San Francisco Child Care Providers Association: Children of Incarcerated Parents: They do time, too!, 2005
  • Malcolm X Elementary School faculty meeting guest speaker: Supporting Children of Incarcerated Parents,2004
  • Friends Outside, California State workshop, Using the Arts with children of prisoners, 2003
  • University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee: Clay and Creativity in the lives of Children, 2003
  • Racine/Kenosha Childcare Resource Referral Agency (WI): Helping Children of Incarcerated Parents, 2002
  • Big Island, Maui, O’ahu and Kau’ai chapters of Hawai’i AEYC, workshops: Children & teachers making stories fantasy: Gianni Rodari’s Reggio Emilia Lectures & Their Meaning for us, 2002
  • Muskingum, (OH)  week long seminar: The Reggio Emily Approach: Thoughtful Work with Young Children,2001
  • Susanville (CA) Helping Children of Incarcerated Parents, 2001
  • Milwaukee (WI) University Child Care Center Staff Retreat Facilitator, 2001, 2002, 2003
  • Consultant and workshop facilitator, Tucson (AZ) Unified School District Prekindergarten program,Documentation Work from Reggio Emilia, 2000-2001
  • Shippensburg University (PA) Extension Class: Lessons From Reggio Emilia, 2000
  • Pittsburgh (PA) Jewish Education Institute: Lessons From Reggio Emilia, 2000, Documentation workshop,2001
  • Preschool Discoveries, Inc, McLean VA, Making Fantasy Stories with Children, 2000
  • Bloomington, IL Children’s Literature; The Enchanted Child in the Real World, 2000
  • Ohio Association for the Education of  Young Children,  Helping Children Create Fantasy Stories (a technique from Reggio Emilia) 1999
  • Preschool Discoveries, Inc., McLean VA, Lessons From Reggio Emilia, Italy, 1999
  • San Jose Children’s Museum Early Childhood Workshop, Documenting Your Work With  Children , 1999
  • Reading the World Conferences: Multicultural Literature for Children, University of San Francisco, 1998,  1999 & 2000:
    Teachers & Children Making Fantasy & Stories: Lessons from Gianni Rodari
  • California Kindergarten Association 1995: Authentic Practice with Dee Epps-Miller.
  • San Francisco Head Start, 1993-98: 19 workshops including: Children Bring their Own Agendas; Using Literature with Children; Visiting  (and later  discussing) the Hundred Languages of Children Exhibit;Documentation; Making The HS Performance Standards Come Alive;  & Diversity Among Your Children (the last two jointly with Dee Epps-Miller)
  • Adjunct Instructor, Napa Valley Coll., A Beautiful Way to Teach Beginning Reading, 1996
  • Orange County AEYC [CA] 1991 Life in Abundance: Teaching Lively & Preventing Burnout
  • Association for Childhood Education International [Pittsburgh], 1990: Children Bring Their Own Agendas
  • Auckland [N.Z.] College of Education, Racism and Child-Centered Teaching, 1990
  • Paso del Norte AEYC [NM], 1989, Multi-cultural Education in the Early Years
  • Highlander Center [TN], 1989, Playing the Dream: Raising Strong, Ethical Children in Difficult Times with Victoria Dimidjian
  • Portland [OR] Pacific Oaks College Outreach Lecture: 1988, Children’s Play and Language Development with Betty Jones
  • Auckland, New Zealand Kg Teachers Assn., 1988, Saying Goodbye & Other Scary Times
  • Graytown New Zealand Rotary, 1988, Childcare: Prepaid or Postpaid, a Public Policy Choice
  • Auckland New Zealand, Dept of Education, 1988, Helping Children Confront the Hard Parts of Living
  • Head Start Assn 1987 [New Orleans] Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. & The Child of the Day
  • Extension Instructor, Stephen F. Austin University, Nacogdoches [TX], Personal Courage for Teachers ,1987
  • Extension Instructor, UC Berkeley Childcare Center, Sylvia Ashton-Warner and Organic Reading and Writing, 1985.
  • Bellingham [WA] AEYC, Peace Education for Young Children, 1985
  • Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality [SF], 1985, Teaching Children about Sex: A Matter of Values Clarification & Communication
  • Adjunct Instructor, Lone Mountain College, [San Francisco], Cultural Diversity, 1978
  • Inservice Instructor, San Francisco USD Children’s Centers, 37 workshops including: Math, Reading, Infant School   Practices, Language Arts, Sensory Modalities , 1972-1982
  • Field Faculty, Goddard College MA Program Early Childhood Education,  1970-1973

Comments after the January, 2016 SFCCPA 10TH ECE Workshops at SF State University:

  I learned how to approach the child and tell them the truth and be honest about the situation
•   How to be sensitive with the words used with children
•   Lots of useful resources, information and ideas for growth and advocacy
•   Mostly new info
•   Just be honest about it
•   Lots of useful resources, information and ideas for growth and advocacy
•   Mostly new info
•   The importance of children being capable and to be specific with details about children
•   Sydney is a wonderful resource for this topic because she clearly has a lot of experience, expertise and passion on the topic
•   Big picture. Concepts and thinking before the art part happen
•   Children can think and hypothesize on their own
•   Revisiting, documentation, babies making hypothesis


  • 2004 [Anaheim] Collaborative Reflective Practice: A diverse group of teachers meeting monthly to support each other’s growth (with 5 other members of our San Francisco Reggio Emilia study group: Eva Baharona, Melissa Bowen, Carolee Fucigna, Toni Gross, Mark Mabry, and Yuko Marshall)
  • 2002 [New York City] Violence through the eyes of children: What we can learn from 9/11 about understanding and responding to the needs of children in turbulent times (with Toni Gross and Diane Levin.)
  • 2001 [Anaheim] Collaborative Reflective Practice: Teachers meeting monthly to support each other’s growth (with 5 other members of our San Francisco Reggio Emilia study group: Melissa Bowen, Carolee Fucigna, Toni Gross, Yuko Marshall and Eva Baharona)
  • 1997 [Anaheim]  Teachers & Children Making Fantasy & Stories: Lessons from Gianni Rodari & Sylvia Ashton-Warner
  • 1992 [New Orleans] Reggio Emilia, What is Important and What Can Be Imported with Claudia Rose
  • 1991 [Denver]  Changing Minds, Ours and Others’: Reflections on Women’s Ways of Knowing & Embracing Contraries with Betty Jones and Donna Couchenour
  • 1989 [Atlanta] and 1990 [Wash., DC] Children Bring Their Own Agendas  with Betty Jones
  • 1988 [Anaheim]  Black Teacher, White Teacher  with Deborah Owens
  • 1986 [Washington, DC] Defusing the Impulse to Kill: Sylvia Ashton-Warner on Peace Education
  • 1985 [New Orleans] Sylvia Ashton-Warner, 1908-1984, Pioneer of Multiculture and Organic Language
  • 1984 [Los Angeles] Saying Goodbye and Other Scary Times


  • 2004 [San Diego] The Bill of Rights for Children of Incarcerated Parents  (663KB PDF file)
  • 1989 [San Diego]  Young Child as Emergent Writer & Reader, with Betty Jones & Gretchen  Reynolds
  • 1987 [Fresno]  Supporting Both Children and Parents: A Search for the Third Alternative
  • 1985 [San Diego] Saying Goodbye and Other Scary Times
  • 1982 [Sacramento] Appropriate Intervention



Since my home is full of books, files, documentation, audio- and video-tapes about the subjects I know (Ashton-Warner and Key Vocabulary, Reggio Emilia and Arts Education, Children of Incarcerated Parents and the other hard subjects like death and dying, divorce, or helping children through crises) and writing about children and teaching, I’ve invented SummerCamp. READ MORE>



Instructor, part-time, New College of California, 2005-2006
I taught one of only two classes in the United States on Children of Incarcerated Parents.

  • Extension Faculty, U.C. Davis, 2001-2007
    Teaching their workshop on Children of Incarcerated Parents.
  • Loma Prieta Independent Home Schooling Program, 1998-1999
    Consultant, part-time, writing a California School Charter
  • San Francisco Head Start Child Development Associate Trainer, part-time consultant  1996-1998
  • Workshop provider and consultant, San Francisco Head Start, 1993-2001
  • Founder, Principal and Teacher, San Francisco Charter Early Childhood School, 1993-1995
  • Extension Faculty, Associate Professor, Fresno State University, Sonoma State University, San Francisco State University, 1985-1990
  • Instructor, part-time, Child Development Department, Merritt College, Oakland, 1981



At the moment I sit on only one board … the information is below. I’d love to sit on one or two more boards, so please consider me for yours.

  • Mid-Pacific Institute, Honolulu, Hawai’i. Nice vs. Real, Creating Boundaries in the early childhood classroom. 2014
  • Early Childhood Research and Practice Online Journal: Consulting Editor, 1999-
  • Educational Consultant, Daisy Child Development Center, Oakland, CA, 1998-
  • Community Representative, Glen Park Branch Library Community Artist Selection Panel, 2002



  • A.B. University of Chicago 1959, Social Sciences.
  • M.A. Teachers College, Columbia 1969, Early Childhood Education & Supervision.  Experienced Teacher Fellow.
  • 34 assorted graduate credits in education from, variously, Atlanta University, Bank Street College, CCNY, and NYU
  • Additional Training from WestEd, as Infant-Toddler Trainer (I didn’t finish this training) and as CDA Representative, at San Francisco State University.  Also trained as NAEYC Accreditation Validator.



I speak fluent, but ungrammatical, Spanish.



  • Listed in “Who’s Who in America” and “Who’s Who in American Education”
  • California Early Childhood Teacher Credential; Clear, Life.
  • California Community College Nursery Education Credential, Life.
  • Child Development Associate Credential, awarded June, 1982.
  • New York State Permanent Certificate to teach Nursery, Kindergarten and Grades 1-6.



National Association for the Education of Young Children  

  • Member 1982-2006
  • Co-Chair NAEYC Interest Forum on Children of Incarcerated Parents (CHIPS) 2004-2006.
  • Consulting Editor, Young Children, Journal of the NAEYC, 1988-1995
  • Public Policy Chair, San Francisco AEYC, 1986-1988
  • Validator NAEYC Center Accreditation Project, 1985-

Other Organizations

  • Pasadena City Commission on Children, Youth and Families,
    Commissioner, 1991-1992
  • White House Conference on the Family
    Delegate, [Los Angeles] 1980
  • San Francisco Classroom Teachers Association
    Field Representative,  (Full time) 1976
  • San Francisco Children’s Council, Board Member, 1973-1975
  • San Francisco Bay Area Reggio Learning Group
    member 1999-2006
  • Child Development Associate Consortium,
    National Representative, Infant-Toddler and Preschool, 1976-1992
  • Pittsburgh Children’s Museum Consultant, 2001
  • SCRAP (Scrounger’s Center for Recycled Art Parts)
    Board Member, 1998-2002
  • ECEOL-L web page Editor, 1996-1998

At the moment I sit on only one board … the information is below. I’d love to sit on one or two more boards, so please consider me for yours.

  • Early Childhood Research and Practice Online Journal:
    Consulting Editor,  1999-



  • Burnett Children’s Center (San Francisco Unified School Dist.) 1998, Documentation.
  • Manito Coop Parents Evening [WA] 1998, Children & Teachers Making Stories & Fantasy: Gianni Rodari’s Reggio Emilia Lectures & Their Meaning for Us
  • Childcare Directors Meeting, Ohio University, [Athens] Documentation
  • Reading Area [PA] ECE Conference, 1998, Children & Teachers Making Stories & Fantasy:Gianni Rodari’s Reggio Emilia Lectures & Their Meaning for Us
  • Summit School, Winston-Salem, NC 1997, Telling Stories with Children
  • Save the Children Family Childcare Provider Conference, 1997, Helping Children Tell Stories
  • California Kindergarten Association 1993 and 1994: Ideas from Reggio Emilia, with Doris Smith and others.  (Pre-conference seminar)

Additional Reggio Emilia workshops in San Francisco, Palo Alto (Stanford), Marin County, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, CA; Aspen, CO; Portland and Klamath Falls, OR; Seattle and Spokane WA; Durham, Winston-Salem and Boone NC; Richmond, VA; Atlanta, GA; Athens, Youngstown and Cleveland OH; Binghamton and Ithaca, NY; Pittsburgh and Shippensburg, PA. Also in Auckland, New Zealand, and Adelaide and Darwin, Australia and for Head Starts, AEYC branches, community colleges, 4-year colleges, childcare providers, Jewish childcare providers, extension classes and gatherings of independent teachers, 1992-

NOTE: Since 1992 I have been instrumental in organizing and attending small groups who meet regularly to think about and process Reggio Emilia ideas. I have traveled twice to Reggio Emilia, and attended dozens of workshops before and since, including two Summer Institutes and the California Exchange. I have visited and studied the exhibit, The Hundred Languages of Children, in Washington, DC, Marin County, CA, Winston-Salem, NC, Atlanta, GA, and Oakland, CA.

AUTHOR: Articles

AUTHOR: Articles

  • Painting A Tragedy:
    Three to Five-Year-Old Children Process the Events of September 11 

    Written by Toni Gross and me and published in the May, 2002 issue of YOUNG CHILDREN, (the journal of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.)  You can click on the link and print the article if you like. Please let me know you’ve done so, send an  e-mail to sydney -at-
  • Free to be a Teacher
    in Focus, Bulletin of WVA. AEYC, February, 1987.
  • A Dr. Martin Luther King Curriculum: Playing the Dream in Young  Children,
    Vol. 43 No. 2,  January, 1988.
    (Young Children is the journal of the National Association for the Education of  Young Children.)
  • Naming the Pictures in our Hearts: Sylvia Ashton-Warner & the Key Vocabulary. In Claremont Reading Conference Yearbook, 1990.
    This paper is available as a Pacific Oaks Occasional Paper from Pacific Oaks College Bookstore, Pasadena, CA
  • Art in the Classroom: Making Every Day Special
    in Young Children, Vol.  46. No. 2, January, 1991.
  • Column, Ask Sydney
     in San Francisco Head Start Newsletter, 1993-4 (4 issues)
  • Editing, Permission to Start Wrong  
    Early Childhood Research and Practice, an electronic  journal of ERIC-ECE. Volume 1, Number 1, Spring, 1999.
  • Discussing the News with 3-7-Year-Olds, What to Do?  [Also Available in French]
    in ERIC-ECE Early Years are  Learning Years, 1999.
  • Why We Should Repeat Field Trips With Young Children
    Beginnings Workshop Child Care Information Exchange, May, 2001
  • I participated in the final editing of
    The Bill of Rights for Children of Incarcerated Parents  (663KB PDF file)

AUTHOR: Book Reviews

AUTHOR: Book Reviews

  • The Good Preschool Teacher: Six Teachers Reflect,
    by William Ayers. Young Children, May, 1990
  • The Real Ebonics Debate,
    by Theresa Perry. Childhood Education, Spring 1999.
  • Circle of Love
    by Amy C. Baker and Lynn Manfredi/Petit.
  • Teaching with Love
    by Lisa S. Goldstein. Childhood Education Fall, 1998
  • That’s Not Fair:  A Teacher’s Guide to Activism With Young Children
    by Ann Pelo and Fran Davidson. Canadian Children (CAYC), Montreal, Canada. Fall 2000 Issue Vol.25 no.2,  pp39-40 .
  • The Art of Awareness: How Observation Can Transform Your Teaching
    by Deb Curtis and Margie Carter. Canadian Children (CAYC), Montreal, Canada.
    Spring 2001 Issue Vol.26 no.1, pp.43-44.



Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, Montgomery [AL]
Our Institutions and Our Children,