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So Much Beauty
November 10, 2008
Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.
-Albert Einstein
After her trip to Reggio Emilia, Bonnie Neugebauer wrote a report on her experience. The full article, "Unpacking My Questions and Images: Personal Reflections on Reggio Emilia," from which an excerpt appears below, can be viewed for free on the Exchange web site.

"A great deal of thinking and problem-solving has gone into figuring out what comprises a wonderful learning environment for children. This is not an environment where everything matches, where everything is shiny and new — this is an environment filled with unlimited opportunities for discovery. It is an environment that is created by the learning that goes on within its spaces and the learners, both child and adult, themselves.

"It is beautiful in the way that a home is beautiful. It reflects the stories of the people who live within it and it evolves through a sensitivity to natural beauty — wood, sunlight, plants, colors, comfort. It feels like a studio, with plenty of light, comfortable places to sit and work, well-organized materials, careful display of past projects, natural materials creating inspiration for future endeavors.

"It appears at moments to be a magic place, full of wonder and beauty. But this environment is very complex. Great attention has been paid to details and to extending possibilities. Light is transformed by objects in its path — mobiles, transparent or translucent paintings, mirrors. It is turned into reflections and shadows and rainbows and distorted images.

"And it transforms artwork, taking it to new dimensions. What does this collage look like unilluminated, with light shining upon it, with light shining through it? By moving her artwork, the child is able to change the world she sees both indoors and out."

This week only, the Continuing Education Unit modules of Exchange are on sale at a 20% discount. To earn a Continuing Education Unit from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, you purchase the module of your choice, download it, read the 8 to 10 classic Exchange articles, and then go to the University web site to take an online test to earn your CEU. CEU modules available from Exchange include:

For Teachers:
  • Outdoor Play Environments
  • Food and Nutrition Challenges
  • Literacy in the Early Years
  • Serving Children with Special Needs
  • Managing Challenging Behaviors
  • Math in the Early Years
  • Brain Research Implications for Early Childhood
  • Involving Parents in Your Program
  • Observation and Assessment
  • Reggio Emilia Learning Experiences
  • Making Play Work
  • Social and Emotional Development

For Directors:
  • Leadership in Early Childhood
  • Supervising Early Childhood Staff
  • Training Early Childhood Staff
  • Evaluating Early Childhood Programs
  • Marketing Child Care Services
  • Trends in Early Childhood Education
  • Managing Money
  • Maintaining a Safe Environment
  • Physical Environment and Room Arrangement


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Comments (1)

Displaying 1 Comment
Rudy Anderson · November 10, 2008
Alexandria, VA, United States

I like the article, but since it's 15 years old, and was written during the Reggio fad years, I was really looking forward to seeing an update on a current perspective. Anyone you know been there in the last couple of years?

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