Reflecting on Reggio: An evaluation of design intent in an early childhood learning environment

You, Hannah, Osborne, Lindy, & Franz, Jill (2015) Reflecting on Reggio: An evaluation of design intent in an early childhood learning environment. In Creative Engagements: Thinking with Children, 14-16 March 2014, Prague, Czech Republic.

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Abstract

Reggio Emilia is an educational philosophy that encourages teachers, students and their parents to collaborate and actively engage with the environment. This study investigates how the Reggio Emilia design approach was translated architecturally for a kindergarten in an Australian context, and provides insights into the operation of this Reggio kindergarten and the impact that it is now having on the occupants. It evaluates the original architectural design intent of the Reggio Emilia early childhood learning environment against its spatial provision. The relationship that the Reggio Emilia approach facilitates between students and the environment, and the contribution that this approach has on their learning, are also explored. Several key themes emerging from the Reggio values were identified in the literature. These were then used to inform an exploration of the kindergarten spaces and places.. Architects, teachers and a sustainability manager of the kindergarten were interviewed with their experiences constituting the primary data of this study. Using a Grounded Theory methodology, systematic data coding and analysis were then conducted. Themes and concepts that emerged from this process include: differing interpretations of the Reggio Emilia philosophy; motivations for neglect of traditional external structures and play equipment; the impact of education for sustainability; and the positive effects that Reggio Emilia is having on the rest of the institution’s development.

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ID Code: 91107
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Reggio Emilia Philosophy, Learning Environment Design, Early Childhood Learning Centres, Education for Sustainability
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Architectural Design (120101)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori) (130102)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 [please consult the authors]
Copyright Statement: Unless otherwise indicated, figures, images and photographs included in this paper were created by Hannah You © Queensland University of Technology, 2013
Deposited On: 09 Dec 2015 05:16
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2015 13:00

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