Studios are an important element of the amazing schools that have been created in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Their word for the studio space is Atelier. The term “studio” might at first conjure up images of a space intended for art, with shelves of paint, paper, and brushes. Indeed, art is one way a studio space may be used. But the educators of Reggio Emilia have taken it further- to them, a studio is simply a space dedicated to the exploration of any broad concept. It could be art, but it could also be shadows, or objects in motion, or any ongoing project. Taking their cues from the interests expressed by the children, our preschool teachers have begun a journey to create studios within their own classrooms. During the afternoons, children are able to move between the four preschool classrooms, choosing for themselves what they will spend time working on.
These studios are in their infancy. They are the beginning of a new way of being with children, and over time, they will grow and change and develop. Supplies and loose parts will be added or traded out. The ideas being explored within the spaces will take on their own lives and directions. A studio is never complete.
Currently, the four studios are providing opportunities for extended work and play with construction, science, art, and dramatic play.