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The Reggio Emilia Approach is an educational philosophy in which the aesthetic dimension and the search for beauty are considered fundamental aspects. This paper explores the aesthetic education provided in Reggio Emilia educational centers for early childhood by deepening the relationship and partnership between the Reggio pedagogist Loris Malaguzzi and important exponents of the Italian Neo Avant-garde Gruppo 63, as well as international Avant-garde art experiences such as Fluxus and the Wiener Aktionismus. The paper reconstructs the important connections between phenomenological aesthetics and the Reggio Emilia Approach. Furthermore, it highlights how the epistemological basis of the Reggio Emilia Approach lies not only in constructivism but also in phenomenological aesthetics, exposing the fallacy of some of the main criticisms made about the Approach. Finally, it highlights that, regarding digital technologies, the Reggio Emilia Approach offers a significant possibility to interpret aesthetic education in the digital era.
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... Reggio Emilia approach reconceptualized space as a primary source of educational provocations and inspirations (Miller, 2019). Malaguzzi's approach to environmental design strategy emphasises that "children discover visual and other expressive languages in tight synergy with verbal, body and logical languages (Manera, 2019). This highlights the importance of visual and physical arrangement in the learning space. ...
Conference Paper
By exploring certain perspectives, it is hoped that teachers can be helped to create inclusive educational contexts by transforming the learning environment into a third educator. Based on the Reggio Emilia approach, we hope to reveal the ways and means by which the spaces of the educational institution can be interpreted, prepared and in some cases created, in order to encourage children to explore and express themselves. This study presents the concept of context as a modern educational space and draws attention to several essential aspects for the creation of educational contexts: educational provocations and invitations; the use of materials and tools to create them; the learning documentation and learning visibility; and the nature of the adult-child dialogue. A qualitative research model was applied that produces information in the form of descriptive data records by providing clear and systematic descriptions. The data collection techniques used were literature studies and narrative interviews with pre-school teachers. Twelve pre-school teachers participated in the study and criteria-based selection was applied, with thematic analysis being used to analyze the data (Soderberg, 2006). The experiences of pre-school teachers in creating contexts are summarized by distinguishing the following aspects of the thematic analysis of contextual development experiences: the change in the role of the teacher, the nature of the child’s activities and the process and principles of creating contexts. The results indicated that the context helps to engage the child and establish an authentic “dialogue” between the child and the materials and tools used, which is then developed with the adult. Educational contexts help develop the creation of an educational environment and allows teachers to create unique learning situations in any scenario.
Research in the field of education has explored how different spaces influence learning and teaching. In addition, aesthetics within these educational spaces have been noted to influence learning positively. Not only is space important to consider in learning contexts, but the ways in which people treat, value and respect each other within these can act as a catalyst for positive learning outcomes. Alternative educational philosophies such as Steiner, Reggio Emilia, and Forest Schools see space as an important component for learning in these contexts. Often these educational perspectives value inquiry-based and imaginative approaches to interacting with others and as such, aesthetics plays a critical role in bridging this connection. The chapter will also explore relational pedagogies including pedagogy of care and compassionate and empathetic approaches to teaching. It will also unpack mindfulness and habits of mind in promoting aesthetic approaches to education. Finally, creative and socially-just approaches to aesthetic literacies will be discussed to advocate a holistic view of education that values the presence of beauty in our lives.KeywordsAestheticsSpaceAlternative educational philosophiesAesthetic-artistic pedagogiesRelational pedagogyEthics of careMindfulnessWellbeing
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We evaluate the Reggio Approach using non-experimental data on individuals from the cities of Reggio Emilia, Parma and Padova belonging to one of five age cohorts: ages 50, 40, 30, 18, and 6 as of 2012. The treated were exposed to municipally offered infant-toddler (ages 0-3) and preschool (ages 3-6) programs. The control group either did not receive formal childcare or were exposed to programs offered by the state or religious systems. We exploit the city-cohort structure of the data to estimate treatment effects using three strategies: difference-in-differences, matching, and matched-difference-in-differences. Most positive and significant effects are generated from comparisons of the treated with individuals who did not receive formal childcare. Relative to not receiving formal care, the Reggio Approach significantly boosts outcomes related to employment, socio-emotional skills, high school graduation, election participation, and obesity. Comparisons with individuals exposed to alternative forms of childcare do not yield strong patterns of positive and significant effects. This suggests that differences between the Reggio Approach and other alternatives are not sufficiently large to result in significant differences in outcomes. This interpretation is supported by our survey, which documents increasing similarities in the administrative and pedagogical practices of childcare systems in the three cities over time.
This chapter uses the philosophy of Martin Heidegger and the work of feminist theorist Karen Barad to discuss the kind of knowledge that is created through a maker’s engagement with the world and with the questions that emerge during circumspective, inquiry based early childhood art education. In examining the inquiry based, responsive practices of early childhood art education this chapter argues for an agentic, general art education and education based in both knowing and being.
The article investigates the work of Paolo Rosa and Studio Azzurro in the light of its political relevance. The article rethinks the concept, originally formulated by Walter Benjamin in The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, of "politicization of art". While for Benjamin the politicization of art concerns the emancipatory movement of the masses, to be opposed to the "aestheticization of politics", the concept takes now a new meaning. Recalling the title of a book Paolo Rosa wrote with Andrea Balzola, the article shows that art should "go beyond itself'. In other words, the artist should abandon the ordinary ways of creation and fruition, in order to establish new conditions of interaction within the environments produced through the creation of images. In this way, the work of Paolo Rosa and Studio Azzurro recovers in a new key the "aura" of artworks.
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.
Describes the experimental preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, providing a brief history and an overview of their guiding educational philosophy. Notes their distinguishing features, including an image of the child's social construction of learning, cognizance of children's sense of time, involvement of parents and the community, collaboration among teachers, a studio atmosphere, group projects, and extensive documentation. (ME)