Study Tours


AISWA offers participation in Study Tours to any Members who: meet the specified criteria (such as having a particular school role or leadership pathway), submit an Expression of Interest and have the support of their employing school to attend (as it may be conducted during Term time).

Study Tours are intensive professional learning opportunities. They often include international seminars or conferences with sessions delivered by globally recognised experts. They also include visits to school campuses and/or briefings by school leaders and leaders in the field of study. They may be associated with a particular AISWA action-research project or may require contribution to an AISWA publication or event as one of the criteria for involvement. 

Participant costs are usually based on land content only and do not include delegate travel to and from the destination. Any cost subsidy by schools is entirely negotiated by the attendee. It is not common practice for AISWA to subsidise attendance.

Join our newsletter subscriptions or follow us on social media to stay up-to-date with news about upcoming study tours. See examples of our diverse range of study tours below.

2023, 2017 Reggio Emilia, Italy - Early Childhood 


In both 2017 and 2023 AISWA and Reggio Emilia Australia Information Exchange (REAIE) took a group of leaders and teachers from AISWA member schools to participate in a study tour to Reggio Emilia in Italy.

The Municipal early childhood programs in Reggio Emilia, Northern Italy, for children aged three months to six years, are internationally acclaimed for the inspirations, challenges, and provocations they provide for all those concerned with the care and education of young children. Observation, documentation, and collaborative interpretation of children's discussions and actions, provide the constant possibility of developing new theories and constructs based on best practice.

AISWA has negotiated for groups from AISWA member schools to join other educators from across Australia on Reggio Emilia Australia Information Exchange tours, providing extensive opportunities for networking and professional growth. 

The Programs have included:

  • Presentations and seminars by teachers, ‘pedagogistas’ and ‘atelieristas’.
  • Visits to pre-schools and infant-toddler centres.
  • Visits to exhibitions.

Study topics have included:

  • Background and history of the Reggio Emilia educational project
  • Children as citizens with rights
  • The school as a system of interactions and relationships
  • The environment and the educational space
  • Observation, interpretation, documentation
  • The Hundred Languages of Children
  • Parents’ involvement in the life of the school
  • ReMida (recycled materials as resources)

Reggio Emilia 2023

Image: 2023 Study Tour

Image: 2017 Study Tour


Below is a snapshot, in the life of a participant, from the 2023 study tour.

Day 1 - A day of Inspiration.

After Day 1 of this inspirational study tour, I have hope for the future of education and an open heart to the many possibilities we heard today. Here are some of the key quotes of the day. I encourage you to think how these statements can challenge you to reflect on your settings and how these values are reflected in your ELCs.

“Education is a right for all children and a responsibility of the entire community.”

How do you promote the rights and potentials of all children?

“Learning is a process of exchange not an accumulation of knowledge but a construction of meanings and maps of meanings that allow children to interpret the world.”

How do you allow time for children to construct meaning of the world around them?

“We invite families to be a part of the process; to know each other and know us; a way of being part of a community - to know their uniqueness’s and differences - to offer further possibilities to recognise potentials in families and vice versa.”

We were invited to ask ourselves “how do you create a sense of belonging with your families and the wider community?”


Day 2 - A day of Connections

Today began with the participants' reflections of our journey so far - of what we’ve seen and what we’ve heard, and the connections we’ve made to our contexts. Some of the questions, our reflections asked were “what does this tell us? What is our response and most importantly WHAT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY?”

Here were some of the statements which resonated with our group.

“This is not just about working with children, it is about growing citizens.” How are you helping grow the citizens in your schools?

“School is not about preparing us for life, it is life.” What are you offering your children to experience life and all it has to offer - it’s wonder, it’s curiosity, it’s beauty?

“Learning is realised together, it is productive and generative together. It is not a service delivered to children, not a message that has already been prefabricated or predisposed. We are not transmitting our learning to the children, we are trying to research together with the children.” How are you learning together with your children?

To make the learning visible, helps us communicate to others the work we are doing and sharing with others. We are giving value to the relationship between teaching and learning. These collaborative interpretations of the learning allow us to construct learning contexts responsive to children.

The adult’s role is highly intentional and critical to the learning processes. We are gathering information as to what makes children curious and making important decisions to the choices of contexts we provide children to explore and learn in.

Words which we heard throughout the day were that of “connection, fluidity, flexibility, originality and inclusion”.

How do you include children of different abilities in your settings?

Our days conclude with visits to the centres of Reggio Emilia, visits where we are confronted by what we are not doing, possibilities of what could be and connections with what we are already doing. No matter where we all are on our journey, it is our individual journey and one which is a journey of growth and learning. One of excitement and possibility of what could be. One of hope.


Day 3 - A Day of Dialogues

Today was one of many dialogues. Dialogues about the continuity between the preschool and primary school; dialogues between colleagues and dialogues with the Pedagogistas and Atelieristas in Reggio Emilia.

We began the day learning about how the learning communities of the preschool and primary school are learning and working together.

“Knowledge is a social construction in relationship. We prepare facilitating contexts, to create enriching situations to help children be the authors of their own learning.”

Educators of Reggio Emilia welcome children as a whole. They see children full of potentials. Their national guidelines speak of an interdisciplinary approach towards education. There are multiple connections between subject areas and we have to find those lines between the subjects. We heard from Remida, their Creative Recycling Centre, who described their strong links with sustainability, creativity, education and research. It was interesting to see that Perth is the only REMIDA in Australia. Finally, we were in dialogue with each other as we reflected on our experience so far. In one participant’s words “we left with a full and warm heart.”

Day 4 - A Day of Fun!

Today we heard the Atelierista speak so passionately of the “importance given to imagination, to creativity, to expression, to aesthetics in the formative educational processes and knowledge.” He emphasised that these “languages of expression are empathetic with the ways children construct their knowledge and we should be offering children with experiences in the many languages children already have.”

We visited our chosen atelier to experience a hands on session and listened to a project described by a Atelierista. The modelling by the Atelieristas allows us to see how they first so intentionally think about and discuss the offerings of the spaces/ contexts. Then how carefully they question children, not to give the answers but rather to allow children to find out the answers for themselves with others (both educators and children).

“Either education is a research situation and research producing new pedagogy or it is providing a service given to small children subjecting them with a message that in some way has already been prefabricated or codified.”


Day 5 - A Day of Reflection and Gratitude

Our last day in this beautiful city of Reggio Emilia began with a visit to the REMIDA centre. As we walked around we saw such intentionality behind how the items were displayed, care to inspire creativity and research of the materials and commitment to sustainability.

Our day concluded with closing remarks from Nando Rinaldi (Director or Preschools and Infant Toddler Centres), the 400 delegates and the Superintendent to Education of Reggio Emilia. We begin with the image of the competent child and the rights of our children, teachers and families. The right to education for all. The importance of an international dialogue and our commitment to providing high quality education to all.

Some words which encompass the Reggio Emilia Educational Project are: Trust, Respect, Belonging, Community, Curiosity, Collegiality, Children as Citizens, School as a living organism, Emotional Sensibility, Democracy.

Teaching and Learning must start with the wellbeing of children, as well as families and educators, all people involved in the processes.

Arrivederci a presto.


2023 IT Conference, Queensland - IT Managers


AISWA offered an open invitation to School Leaders, IT and Business Managers from member schools to apply for a subsidy to join an AISWA delegation to a premier Australian tech event, the AIS NSW 2023 IT Management and Leadership Conference in Queensland. This valuable professional experience has historically been difficult for WA schools to access due to travel costs. AISWA negotiated the financial support from Data#3 as AISWA’s current Microsoft Licensing provider. Thirteen schools (15 delegates) – regional and metro - submitted successful EOIs.

Conference topics were diverse and pertinent, including:

  • Cybersecurity, system and security audits, data and records management,
  • Systems administration, leveraging offshore technical teams, risk management,
  • School tours, IBM lab tour,
  • AV, AI, AR, VR, IoT, e-sports, smart technologies,
  • Training and capability, building capacity, digital transformation, effective partnerships,
  • IT supporting teaching and learning, leveraging IT - Google, Microsoft,  
  • Having difficult conversations, ethics, gender equality in IT.

“… an invaluable experience for our school and for me professionally. The ability to see what the current trends are and cutting-edge tech in education was such an insightful experience, and one I’m not easily going to forget. It was nice to see that though we have a very small school, that we are not alone in some of the challenges we face as IT managers. On top of all of that, the contacts and networking that organically came out the social nights are going to help push our school to another level in IT. ”

IT Manager, Wongutha CAPS, Goldfields-Esperance region

2019 Boston + New York, USA - School Leaders


This two-week study tour was designed specifically for AISWA member school leaders to engage with schools in Boston and New York that showcase best practice in innovation and in preparing young people for their futures. Participants spent  five days' in Boston, beginning with a masterclass by Charles Fadel at The Center for Curriculum and Redesign, Harvard University. This was followed by three days of full and half-day school visits, including Brooke Charter School, Dexter Southfield, and Nuvu.  

The second week in New York included school visits and working with Yong Zhao.  Visits included the Blue School, a full day trip to Ross School in East Hampton as well as an opportunity to visit both the Brooklyn Laboratory School and the Brooklyn Academy of Innovative Technologies. All school visits included a chance to meet with school leaders who presented their school’s philosophy and approach and outlined how their school makes a real difference to their students' educational journey and preparation for future life. A tour of each school and observation of classroom sessions ensured delegates saw these schools 'in action'.

Study tour benefits included knowledge and development across the following areas:

  • Visits to innovative schools and schools that shift away from traditional paradigms and year-based curriculum delivery
  • Curriculum design and delivery in a range of contexts
  • A broad range of pedagogical perspectives
  • Leadership styles and contexts
  • International and intercultural developments
  • Potential partnerships with schools overseas

study tour 2019 leaders

2019 Finland - Early Childhood

In partnership with Pasi Sahlberg, Finnish educator, author and scholar, the focus of this study tour was to explore how the Finnish school system supports:

  • deep learning and high levels of student engagement, 
  • a sharp focus on transitioning students from early childhood education to primary schooling and 
  • how Finnish educators oversee and monitor their students' progress without standardised testing. 


Highlights of this tour included:

  • Observation of early childhood, pre-primary and primary education settings
  • Exploration of pedagogical frameworks
  • Discovering how care, learning and engagement is preserved from early childhood centres to primary settings, as children move through the education system
  • Discussion about the structure of teacher education - the courses, timeframes and supports offered
  • Exploration of assessment in practical terms for teachers and schools

This tour was designed for those wanting to further their personal and professional awareness of current best practice in international early childhood and primary education programs.

study tour Finland

2016 San Francisco+ Denver, USA - STEM Leaders

AISWA organised and led sixteen participants to executive briefings at Stanford University (online learning provision), The Academy of Science, Google, Apple, Microsoft and BrightBytes in san Francisco. The group also undertook visits to lead Technology (Digital and Design) focussed schools in Cupertino and San Francisco - The Urban School, Nueva School, Menlo Academy and the Castilleja School to explore innovative STEM and Makerspace programs.

This was followed by the 4-day ISTE Conference in Denver Colorado which included keynotes, workshops, seminars, trade show and student project displays (rotating every day), where we enjoyed the opportunity to be briefed about STEM projects by a student group from Latin America. A good chance to practise their technical English!

study tour 2016 STEM

2016, 2014 China - Engagement with Asia


In partnership with The Confucius Institute at the University of Western Australia  AISWA invited Principals and school leaders to join this study tour in China with the aim to:

  • establish, where possible, a partnership with an overseas school as a platform for school exchange and cooperation,
  • encourage and support communication and partnership between schools in Hangzhou and Western Australia for mutual learning and understanding, and
  • negotiate, where possible, delegations of school leaders and teachers organised by each other.

study tour 2016 asia

2015 England, Scotland, Norway - ECE


The ‘Nature Pedagogy’ case studies publication shares the stories of teachers from nine member schools who attended an AISWA-initiated study tour to northern England and Scotland to visit a range of early learning environments with an emphasis on Nature Play. The publication provides a research base, curriculum links and supporting documentation for a wider audience of educators to explore the role of nature and nature play. Download our free Nature Pedagogy Curriculum Links document here.

Working with Claire Warden, AISWA has offered this Early Childhood Study Tour to England and Scotland on three occasions. The tour gave delegates a special focus on forest kindergarten education and Nature Pedagogy. It was an opportunity for Early Childhood educational leaders and practitioners to share experiences from different backgrounds, exchange ideas and find innovative methods of presenting education, for the youngest children in our schools.

Through seminars and visits to a variety of early childhood educational establishments, delegates were able to gain useful knowledge about forest kindergartens, their set up and operation, and other general early childhood information.

study tour 2015 scotland

2014 San Francisco + Atlanta, USA - STEM 

Fifteen participants enjoyed executive briefings at Google, Apple, Microsoft and Intel in Silicon Valley as well as visits to lead Technology (Digital and Design) focussed schools in Cupertino and San Francisco – The Urban School (blended learning) and Hillbrook School’s iLab. 

The group then flew to Atlanta, Georgia, to attend the 4 day ISTE Conference which included keynotes, workshops, seminars, trade show and student project displays (rotating every day). Two delegates and three AISWA staff co-presented a 2 hour workshop with Prof Matt Dunleavy from Radford University that showcased an internationally recognised AISWA augmented reality action-research project using the cutting edge ‘Fresh Air’ app. The practical outdoors workshop component was fully constructed ‘virtually’ at AISWA in Perth using satellite imagery before travelling to the USA! 

study tours various