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Atelier, creativity and citizenship

International Study Group 
 December 1 – 5, 2013


The Reggio Emilia Approach to education


The ateliers of the infant-toddler centres and preschools are offered to the city, inviting children, youth and adults to build, research, and investigate on different topics and thus become “City Ateliers”.
Light to investigate, landscapes to construct, clay and paper to model, flavors to “listen to”, stories to “taste”: the ateliers are often constructed in partnership with other professionals of various competencies (architects, pedagogistas, physicists, engineers, biologists, dancers, musicians, designers, …).


Although we did not come close to achieving those impossible ideals, still the atelier has always repaid us. It has, as desired, proved to be subversive – generating complexity and new tools of thought. It has allowed rich combinations and creative possibilities among the different (symbolic) languages of children.
(Loris Malaguzzi)



Education is the right of all, of all children, and as such is a responsibility of the community.
Education is an opportunity for the growth and emancipation of the individual and the collective; it is a resource for gaining knowledge and for learning to live together; it is a meeting place where freedom, democracy and solidarity are practiced and where the value of peace is promoted.
As an active and dialoguing part of the community life of the city, the Infant toddler centres and the preschools are constantly engaged in developing a close relationship with the territory, interacting and collaborating with the entire system of cultural, educational, and economic offers of the city.
It is the right of children that the preschool and infant toddler centre, the families and the local authorities together carry out research and become contexts of dialogue, coresponsibility and shared elaboration that give value to the specific educational responsibilities of each.
As educating communities, these subjects contribute to the integral growth, development, and education of the children and to contructing the conditions of wellbeing such that each individual can enjoy a rich, original, and harmonious experience of life.
Each child, like each human being, is an active constructor of knowledge, competencies and autonomies by means of original learning processes. The learning process is fostered by strategies of research, comparison of ideas, and co-participation; it makes use of creativity, uncertainty, intuition, curiosity; it is generated in play and in the aesthetic, emotional, relational, and spiritual dimensions. It is based on the centrality of motivation and the pleasure of learning.
From “Indications. Preschools and infant toddler centres of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia”.


The study group programme will include:
– introduction of the Reggio Emilia Approach – principles of the educational project
– visit to the International Centre Loris Malaguzzi
– introduction to the culture of Atelier and the hundred languages of children
– introduction to the “Citizen Ateliers”
– International Centre “Citizen Atelier” workshops – the community of Reggio Emilia and its main representatives
– open conversations
– guided visit to the town of Reggio Emilia
– visit to the Atelier inside the infant-toddler centre and the preschool
– presentation of a research project realized with children, teachers and parents
– conversations with atelieristas, teachers and pedagogistas and local administrators
– presentation on creativity, intelligence, learning and construction of knowledge


Individual participation fee: euro 1.400,00
The fee includes:
– the organization of the programme by Reggio Children S.r.l.,
– presentations by and meetings with pedagogistas, teachers, administrators and parents,
– visits to infant-toddler centres and preschools of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia, according to the programme;
– study group materials;
– private bus transportation from and to the centres in Reggio Emilia when required by the programme,
– English/Italian/English professional interpreters when required by the programme;
– coffee breaks;
– farewell reception;
– Italian VAT taxes





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