The learning child is defined in Reggio Emilia in a different way than here in America. They believe the following:
- Young children are powerful, active, competent protagonists in their own growth, and that they are actors or participants in their own history, society and culture.
- They have the right to speak from their own perspective and to act with others based on their own experiences and level of consciousness.
- They seek identity, individuality, completion, and satisfaction through interaction and negations with others.
- They live in intersecting worlds of home, classroom, community, and culture.
- They need adults nearby to act as partners, resources, and guides.
This powerful definition should change both our image of the child and the image of us as teachers.
Because our pedagogy is based on care, character building is naturally part of our philosophy. Our teachers strive to build in each child a positive sense of self as the core for emotional wellbeing and motivation for learning.
During our activities, all interactions that are thought to affect the behavior, thoughts, feelings, and actions of the children are viewed as opportunities to build character. Our teachers model positive behaviors and set examples that teach children through our language and actions.
Opportunities for the intentional development of cooperation, courtesy, empathy, forgiveness, generosity, helpfulness, kindness, perseverance, respect, responsibility, self-awareness, self-discipline are structured into our daily routines.
The concepts of love and friendship are also explored as the children build new relationships.
An atelier is not just about art!
It’s about how the teachers focused their attention on what the children are thinking and learning. It’s about a complex system of planning and documenting what the children believe about various topics.
The “art medium” is used to advance thinking and present challenges for them to test out. Graphic languages are utilized to make the learning experience visible. Documentation is an observable form of listening. It shows the careful attention paid to how ideas are represented.
The graphic arts are a media we intend to utilize to share with you what children are thinking, doing, feeling, learning, and experiencing. We will teach children art techniques to give them tools to express their ideas.