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The Atelier as a Potential Space for Transformative Learning Processes

Chapter in book
Authors Tarja Karlsson Häikiö
Published in Art-Based Education : An Ethics and Politics of Relation, Making Narratives, 3/2018
Pages 71-91
ISBN 9789198061864
Publisher HDK, Högskolan för Design och Konsthantverk
Place of publication Göteborgs universitet
Publication year 2018
Published at School of Design and Crafts
Pages 71-91
Language en
Keywords atelierista, ateljerista, aethetics, early childhood education, learning
Subject categories Educational Sciences, Children, Arts, Aesthetics


In the 1960s, Loris Malaguzzi began promoting the use of an art space called the atelier and a specific art teacher called the atelierista in pre-schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy to help children create and construct knowledge. Today, many pre-schools in Sweden use the atelier and atelierista to complement their daily teaching. This text focuses on how atelieristas work in Swedish schools, especially in pre-schools. The atelierista of the Reggio Emilia pre-schools have been an inspiration for pre-schools worldwide and have had a strong influence on Early Childhood Education in the Nordic countries ( Häikiö, 2007 ). Since the 1980s, many of the topics associated with the Reggio Emilia philosophy have been discussed in a Swedish pre-school context, including documentation practices (SOU1994 :45 ), and preparing the atelier as an exploratory, democratic, and participatory space designed to enhance learning. In the Reggio Emilia approach, the project work is child-initiated and driven by the explorations, hypotheses, questions, and musings of the children. The creative work in the atelier is closely linked to the educational work as the project work is documented and the work takes place in the educational environments. The use of environments as the third educator (Häikiö, 2007 ; Nordin-Hultman, 2004 ) is one of the basic means of creating possibilities for the children to choose activities, materials, and places and encourages collaborative work starting from different themes initiated by the Children with the adults serving as co-constructors ( Dahlberg, Moss & Pence, 2003 ).

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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