Penn State

Christine M. Thompson - Professor of Art Education, Penn State University Park

Book Title: I Cento Linguaggi dei Bambini/The Hundred Languages of Children

Author: Reggio Children

Book Description:

My first encounter with the exhibition catalogue, I Cento Linguaggi dei Bambini/The Hundred Languages of Children, more than a decade ago, precipitated dramatic changes in my thinking about childhood, art, and education. The drawings, paintings, constructions, and photographic explorations by preschool children from the northern Italian city of Reggio Emilia defied conventional wisdom about the capabilities of young children. The sophistication of the children's work, and the thought it embodies, suggested that even the most progressive contemporary approaches to early art education fail to acknowledge the richness of possibilities inherent in interactions between children, adults, and the world they share in common. This text, as much visual as verbal, helped me to reconsider my own assumptions about the three central terms of my research and teaching--teacher, child, and subject--and encouraged me to challenge the assumptions about children, art, and education that permeate both everyday conversations and professional discourse.

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