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Art and Creativity in Reggio Emilia: Exploring the Role and Potential of Ateliers in Early Childhood Education

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This book explores the contribution of and art and creativity to early education, and examines the role of the atelier (an arts workshop in a school) and atelierista (an educator with an arts background) in the pioneering pre-schools of Reggio Emilia. It does so through the unique experience of Vea Vecchi, one of the first atelieristas to be appointed in Reggio Emilia in 1 This book explores the contribution of and art and creativity to early education, and examines the role of the atelier (an arts workshop in a school) and atelierista (an educator with an arts background) in the pioneering pre-schools of Reggio Emilia. It does so through the unique experience of Vea Vecchi, one of the first atelieristas to be appointed in Reggio Emilia in 1970. Part memoir, part conversation and part reflection, the book provides a unique insider perspective on the pedagogical work of this extraordinary local project, which continues to be a source of inspiration to early childhood practitioners and policy makers worldwide. Vea's writing, full of beautiful examples, draws the reader in as she explains the history of the atelier and the evolving role of the atelierista. Key themes of the book include: - processes of learning and knowledge construction - the theory of the hundred languages of childhood and the role of poetic languages - the importance of organisation, ways of working and tools, in particular pedagogical documentation - the vital contribution of the physical environment - the relationship between the atelier, the atelierista, the school and its teachers This enlightening book is essential reading for students, practitioners, policy makers and researchers in early childhood education, and also for all those in other fields of education interested in the relationship between the arts and learning.


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This book explores the contribution of and art and creativity to early education, and examines the role of the atelier (an arts workshop in a school) and atelierista (an educator with an arts background) in the pioneering pre-schools of Reggio Emilia. It does so through the unique experience of Vea Vecchi, one of the first atelieristas to be appointed in Reggio Emilia in 1 This book explores the contribution of and art and creativity to early education, and examines the role of the atelier (an arts workshop in a school) and atelierista (an educator with an arts background) in the pioneering pre-schools of Reggio Emilia. It does so through the unique experience of Vea Vecchi, one of the first atelieristas to be appointed in Reggio Emilia in 1970. Part memoir, part conversation and part reflection, the book provides a unique insider perspective on the pedagogical work of this extraordinary local project, which continues to be a source of inspiration to early childhood practitioners and policy makers worldwide. Vea's writing, full of beautiful examples, draws the reader in as she explains the history of the atelier and the evolving role of the atelierista. Key themes of the book include: - processes of learning and knowledge construction - the theory of the hundred languages of childhood and the role of poetic languages - the importance of organisation, ways of working and tools, in particular pedagogical documentation - the vital contribution of the physical environment - the relationship between the atelier, the atelierista, the school and its teachers This enlightening book is essential reading for students, practitioners, policy makers and researchers in early childhood education, and also for all those in other fields of education interested in the relationship between the arts and learning.

30 review for Art and Creativity in Reggio Emilia: Exploring the Role and Potential of Ateliers in Early Childhood Education

  1. 4 out of 5

    Yulia

    The most pretentious, jargon-filled, self serving piece of educational literature I've ever read. This was clearly not written with any applicable purposes in mind. It goes on and on with random blurbs from the usual suspects - the darlings of the first schools in Reggio. Mind you, these blurbs are often lost in translation and make no sense whatsoever. The entire philosophy is built on an education for THE PEOPLE, the community and common folk post WWII. Yet, this text makes itself so illusive The most pretentious, jargon-filled, self serving piece of educational literature I've ever read. This was clearly not written with any applicable purposes in mind. It goes on and on with random blurbs from the usual suspects - the darlings of the first schools in Reggio. Mind you, these blurbs are often lost in translation and make no sense whatsoever. The entire philosophy is built on an education for THE PEOPLE, the community and common folk post WWII. Yet, this text makes itself so illusive and impermeable for the common reader that it feels egoistic and elitist at best. If you are an educator, particularly one specializing in the arts, steer clear of this pseudo-philosophic, pretentious nonsense. You will glean nothing useful from this.

  2. 4 out of 5

    matt harding

    I had taken my seat on a flight from Portland Oregon back to the East coast when I noticed that the woman sitting next to me was clutching this purple book in her hands. I struck up a conversation. She was an elementary school principal who was coming back from a conference on education and while she didn't go into much detail, she did tell me that this book was going to change her life. As an English teacher who was still mucking his way through pedagogical perspectives, one of the first things I had taken my seat on a flight from Portland Oregon back to the East coast when I noticed that the woman sitting next to me was clutching this purple book in her hands. I struck up a conversation. She was an elementary school principal who was coming back from a conference on education and while she didn't go into much detail, she did tell me that this book was going to change her life. As an English teacher who was still mucking his way through pedagogical perspectives, one of the first things that I did when I got home was to order a copy of this book from our University's book lending system. The book, which deals with childhood education (ages 1-6) in the Italian city of Reggio Emilia, is both captivating in its approach and stunning in its assertions. Vecchi's pedagogy is something that I wished I had read before I started to teach. The book talks at length about the value of space/place within a democracy and so pushes against what can be seen as simple utilitarian ideas that posit space from an economic frame--for her, places have the ability to speak to us not only about beauty and pleasure, but also about ourselves and so we see schools and buildings not as the products of budgets, but as something else altogether. Already I think that I am limiting the scope of this book because it is not a polemic against anti-democratic places, or anti-democratic modes of learning. It has something in common with Freire, but it's dialing in from some place altogether different. The book is articulating that our present pedagogic frames are built with a limited view of human potential. Vecchi is arguing that humans are capable of more than just spoken language and that much of what passes for education only speaks towards one aspect of that potential. Humans possess the ability for a kind of cerebral analysis, for deep imagination, for articulating and nurturing felt values, and for drawing from and becoming repositories of communal narratives. Vecchi also argues that education must allow for discovery and that this discovery should take place in a collaborative environment. The book allocates some of its length to articulating and then defending the value of having students work on describing/defining things and place through a variety of media, which continually made me think about my own poverty of language/description. Describing place through various media means that the students have to use faculties that most of us are unaware that we possess (I write more on this later in this post). Much of the book talks on the periphery of the childhood education experience--or rather talks about what we have unfortunately come to see as peripheral, but in Vecchi's mind is actually central to understanding. Vecchi presents one instance where architects, teachers,artists and interior designers were set to design a space for children, but instead of championing their specific frames, they began not to see the construction as a project, but as a trans-disciplinary meta-project where the participants thought about their thinking of/on the project and then "distilled" that knowledge, which then "became a scribbling pad that invited and accepted change"(97). The meta project "shifted the problem from building structures to creating artificial ecosystems made up of furniture, symbols,colours,materials,lights,smells and sounds"(97). The product produced a paradigm shift that brought together previously compartmentalized worlds: Education, architecture and design came together to produce a building that is itself a teaching aid/canvas; in the past, architects would simply give form to the building with an emphasis on function and interior designers would focus on aesthetics, but this collaborative process focused on how these aspects would further student learning/engagement, which shifted how things were previously done. The pedagogy of the school focuses more on what I know as "Mu dictionary": Definitions of things and places--not simply a definition, but felt value, metaphor, sense data,memory and cultural/historical narratives are explored/mined to create a fuller human knowledge (and are then used to create more fascinating worlds). Anyone who desires a more fulfilling pedagogy should read this book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Marla

    Foe me a 5, because I work and research in such a specific field (creativity & early childhood in the context of Regiio Emilia). Unless you are researching, working, or interested in the role of the atelierista or atelier in Reggio, it probably would not be such a fabulous read. I especially loved it because I've attended lectures and a workshop w/ Vea, and I find her language powerful, and now I have it in print. Foe me a 5, because I work and research in such a specific field (creativity & early childhood in the context of Regiio Emilia). Unless you are researching, working, or interested in the role of the atelierista or atelier in Reggio, it probably would not be such a fabulous read. I especially loved it because I've attended lectures and a workshop w/ Vea, and I find her language powerful, and now I have it in print.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kym

    The best book I have read to inspire me in the approach. The studio comes alive in these accounts. Vea Vecchi is amazing to read,one of the living legends.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Phan Kin

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ali Murphy

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lily

  8. 5 out of 5

    Niamh FitzGibbon

  9. 5 out of 5

    Christina Morello

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ariane

  11. 5 out of 5

    Gigi Yu

  12. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Nunn

  13. 4 out of 5

    Katie Mckenna

  14. 4 out of 5

    Julia

  15. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Lack

  16. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

  17. 5 out of 5

    Katrina

  18. 4 out of 5

    Manuela Salinas

  19. 5 out of 5

    Anita

  20. 5 out of 5

    Judy

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline Monroe

  22. 5 out of 5

    Paige

  23. 5 out of 5

    ivy

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alejandra

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sherry Faubion

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amparo

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anna Golden

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  29. 4 out of 5

    Middlethought

  30. 5 out of 5

    Emily

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