Showing posts from August, 2009

The Studio

Last year I tried to think carefully about what materials the children actually used. I try to keep many things available for use as art materials in the studio. For one thing, I know that many different media can be used to create and explore ideas, so I like to have things handy. It also makes me feel bad when a child or adult comes into the studio looking for something and I don't have it. At the same time, the studio can get very crowded and cluttered. Even though I love to be amidst the colors and textures of the studio, I know it can be overwhelming to others.
Last year, Irene and Marty called the biggest shelf in the room the candy store. These where the materials I suspected weren't really very useful to the children, but were very colorful and enticing. They were things like gift ribbon, styrofoam shapes and other plastic or shiny materials. I never put these materials out on the tables, but occasionally a child would ask for something. Mostly these type of materials…


I am the atelierista, or studio teacher for the preschool of Sabot at Stony Point School. It is a job that combines my experience as an artist with my interest in teaching. I help the children make their ideas visible by showing them media and techniques, by asking them questions and setting out provocations that might help them take their ideas further. I help the teachers follow the childrens' theories by assisting with documentation and suggesting media, materials and avenues that might work well in each situation.

Loris Malaguzzi, founder of the Reggio Schools, described the atelier as a laboratory: “a place for researching motivations and theories of children from scribbles on up, a place for exploring variations in tools, techniques and materials with which to work.” In other words, the studio is a place for children to explore media and ideas and a place for teachers to try to understand children’s intentions, thinking and learning. For Malaguzzi, it was very important to …