Young artists in the early years classroom are expressing their creativity through the use of paint. Exploring different materials is an evocative experience, as it stimulates imagination and creativity. The thoughtful selection and use of different materials in the classroom, and how we interact with these materials, help to provoke our imaginations. This is 1 of the 100 languages children use to express their ideas, thoughts, emotions, and stories.
Doug McIntosh explains visual literacy as, “It’s not just looking at pretty pictures. It’s understanding how we think – how we connect what we already know about the world, life, relationships and values to those pictures – and then use them to make sense of our expanded world.”Vea Vecchi, author of Art and Creativity in Reggio Emilia, Exploring the role and potential of ateliers in early childhood education , atelierista at the Diana municipal preschool in Reggio Emilia for over 30 years and now consultant to “Reggio Children” in Reggio Emilia, Italy, shares her thoughts on the role of the arts and creativity in the early years.
Enjoy this Ted Talk by Vea Vecchi which is spoken in Italian and translated below in English.
We are convinced that it is only through education that we can confront the difficulties of our time that have the attention of everyone, that humiliate us as citizens of the world. What is a school and an education of quality?
For one, we give so much importance to the environment. Beyond the right of having a school is the right to have a school that is beautiful and taken care of with an attitude of care so that parents, children, and teachers want to come to school every day. We have in some ways confused luxury with care.
The atelier has brought many materials and techniques, but also has illuminated a need, not only for children, but for human beings to communicate in a way that rationality and imagination travel together. We believe in a multiplicity of languages that are integrated and not separated. We believe that this makes learning and understanding more rich and more complete.
Poetic thought does not separate the imaginative from the cognitive, emotion from the rational, empathy from deep investigation. It lights up all the senses and perceptions and cultivates an intense relationship with what is all around us. It constructs thoughts that are not conformist. And this creates two important elements: solidarity and participation, both of which are the foundation of democracy.
To conclude, we believe that identifying and researching beauty and ethics is the indispensable foundation for a livable, sustainable future that everyone speaks about but that seems so difficult to bring about. It is only with an intelligent heart, with courage and with vision that we can proceed. ~Vea Vecchi