CURATING AN EXHIBITION: PowerPoint Presentation Assignment


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For your Curator Project Assignment, you will need to curate an imaginary exhibition.

A curator is an overseer or keeper of cultural heritage institution (such as a museum, library, or gallery). A curator has many responsibilities, but this assignment is focusing on the selection and interpretation of works of art.

You will be choosing artworks (that you may find in the course textbook or other course materials) to group together for a hypothetical exhibition. Have you ever wondered, when going through a museum or gallery, why certain works are placed next to one another? Often works can be grouped according to a time period, a geographical area, a stylistic movement, or a theme that transcends all of these. For this assignment, you will be choosing a theme to design your collection or artworks around.

You will need to choose 6 to 8 works of art to include in your exhibition. The amount is up to you depending on what you are inspired by (you must have a minimum of 6 works, but you can choose up to 8 if you prefer). You will begin by deciding a theme for your imaginary exhibition. You will choose one theme from the list provided (listed at the bottom of this assignment).

The theme you choose will be like a compass guiding you to what artworks you decide to pair together. This theme will be the title of your exhibition, after all. Think about what the theme means to you – I have provided phrases that are open-ended enough to leave you plenty of room for interpretation. After you develop an explanation about what this theme means to you, then you can search for artworks that help communicate this idea.
After you have chosen a theme, you will need to spend some time browsing the possible works of art that we have studied. You will need to think about which pieces fit into the theme that you have selected. You will eventually narrow down your list and choose 6-8 final works to work with.
Your chosen artworks must be from a minimum of three different stylistic movements.
You are welcome to explore other artworks to use in your presentation beyond what is included in the course textbook and content materials. However, you will need to include the following information for any work of art: the artist’s name (if known), the title of the artwork, the year it was created, and the media/materials it is made from.
You will put together a PowerPoint presentation that demonstrates your exhibition. The PowerPoint should state and explain your theme, show each work of art individually, and finish with a slide that shows all of your artworks (a group shot), and explains how the group of art works with the theme you chose.

PowerPoint File Guidelines:

Your PowerPoint will need to include images of each artwork in your exhibition. You may show multiple images of the same artwork (if it is a sculpture or has different viewpoints, for example).
When you have an image of an artwork, you need to include identification information next to it. You should list the following information for each image:
Artist/creator (if known if not, then put the culture or appropriate identifier).
Title of work (this should be italicized).
Year work was created.
Media (materials the work is made out of)
You should include an explanation for how each artwork goes along with your theme. This written explanation can be done on the same slide as the image, or you can choose to have a separate slide with the text on it. The explanation is important for you to communicate your thoughts and the reasons for how your artwork belongs in your exhibition based on how it goes along with your theme.
At the end of your PowerPoint, you are required to have a slide that shows all of the artworks together that will be in your exhibition.
You should also have a final explanation (probably best in a separate slide) where you talk about how the collection of all of your chosen artworks expresses your theme in a way that is different than how each individual work does. Often, when artworks are paired together, they change relative meaning. The group says something that the individual artworks cannot say on their own. You will write about this and how it incorporates the theme you have chosen. You will need to explain your opinion of how each work adds a meaning to the collection or theme basically why each work of art was chosen to be in the exhibition.

– Remember, you have ample time to complete this assignment, and that will be taken into account when I evaluate the quality of your work and the effort you have put forth.

Before you begin this assignment, you should look at the two sample/example PowerPoint presentations that are in the Modules Section on Canvas. There are two different PowerPoint examples of this assignment in the Module titled “Curator Assignment Sample Presentations.”

IMPORTANT: You must use your own words when writing this assignment. It is prohibited to plagiarize and copy information from other sources, including the internet and books. If you include any quotes from another source, you must properly cite them to give the recognition to the original source. Assignments will be checked for plagiarism. If your writing contains more than 5% of duplicate content that is not sourced, the assignment will receive an automatic F, as a failing grade.

If you do properly source material and include it in your paper, keep in mind that there are limits to how many quotes you should include. This assignment calls for your writing, and if you turn in a paper with multiple long quotes of other peoples words, where these quotes account for the majority of your content, you will lose points. Citing other material and including it in your assignment should be used only when you feel that the quote specifically adds to your argument or description.

You must use complete sentences and proper grammar. This assignment involves ample time given for completion. Remember to proof-read, use spell check, and if necessary, submit your written content to writing tutoring resources. You will lose points for spelling and grammar errors.

Possible Themes for Imaginary Exhibition:

Troublemakers: Pushing the Envelope


Cultural Thieves: Taking from the Past and Repurposing for the Present

Classical Beauty: Looking Through the Mirror Into the Past

Masters of the World

Form Over Function


Explain what the theme means to you.
Keep it simple and to the point.
You should explain how your choices belong to

this theme, but that will be later, where you can
put an explanation directly on the slide with each

This page is more about giving a general overview
of what you think the theme means.

Image 1

Include a picture of your first selected work.

Include descriptive information (such as artist
name, title, media, year made).

You will explain include a written explanation
how this artwork fits into your theme.

Image 2

Include a picture of your first selected work.

Include descriptive information (such as artist
name, title, media, year made).

You will explain include a written explanation
how this artwork fits into your theme.

Image 3

Include a picture of your first selected work.

Include descriptive information (such as artist
name, title, media, year made).

You will explain include a written explanation
how this artwork fits into your theme.

Image 4

Include a picture of your first selected work.

Include descriptive information (such as artist
name, title, media, year made).

You will explain include a written explanation
how this artwork fits into your theme.

Image 5

Include a picture of your first selected work.

Include descriptive information (such as artist
name, title, media, year made).

You will explain include a written explanation
how this artwork fits into your theme.

Image 6

Include a picture of your first selected work.

Include descriptive information (such as artist
name, title, media, year made).

You will explain include a written explanation
how this artwork fits into your theme.

Image 7

Include a picture of your first selected work.

Include descriptive information (such as artist
name, title, media, year made).

You will explain include a written explanation
how this artwork fits into your theme.

Image 8

Include a picture of your first selected work.

Include descriptive information (such as artist
name, title, media, year made).

You will explain include a written explanation
how this artwork fits into your theme.

Connective Explanation

This slide should focus on your explanation of
how the group of artwork conveys a message
that is different than each piece does on its

This will basically be a way to emphasize your
theme, and what it means, as demonstrated
by this collective group of work.

Group Shot

Include a smaller picture of each of your
selected works, for a group shot.


dis 6 reflec

1-1.5 pages reflection, APA format, Font size 12, need reference


Think of a child you have spent time with and who you have found challenging to be around. Write a reflective response about this child (no names, identifiers, location, etc.) in relation to the notions presented this week – based on the ideas about the validity of understanding a child’s perspective: how might the child you know be interpreting their world? What is their preferred mode to express their views? What are their experiences? What appears to be hard for them? Easy for them? What sparks their interest and focused attention?
After reflecting on these things, do you think that it has shifted your understanding and approach to this child?

Week 6: Who is the Young Child?


How we view young children – who they are within a social-cultural context and who they are as learners within educational spaces – influences our expectations of them and of ourselves as educators. John Nimmo (1998) says, “As a teacher, I have learned repeatedly that my understanding of young children is limited by my own experience and knowledge, and that I need to always be open to new truths, new perspectives on children’s capabilities, and most of all, new protagonists or people who stimulate change” (p. 295).
This module is an invitation to think about contemporary conceptions of young children and the relation of these conceptions to the pedagogical paths educators choose to embrace in the classroom. An additional question for us to think about is, What is our role as educators in contributing to the development of the child’s identity as a learner, a social agent, and a participant in our society?
As the reading by Malaguzzi for this module will emphasize, we all have an image, or even multiple images of the child. This image is influence by many experiences, cultural beliefs, traditions and histories, and various bodies of knowledge (i.e. psychology, sociology). Our image of the child is heavily influenced by philosophies and theories that we have discussed in this course. For example, John Dewey taught us to view children as social agent and active learners, Erikson and Freud’s theories of personal development enriched our thinking about children as social and emotional beings, Piaget’s theory of the stages of intellectual development helps us see children as thinkers, and Vygotsky’s ideas about the reciprocal relationships between the child and the social context for learning focused our attentions on children as participants in the meaning making process.
Susan Fraser (2006) further clarifies the sources from which the image of the child is constructed. She speaks of our personal experiences as children, our empirical knowledge of children that stems from directly observing children, and the cultural one – the image that is built on values and understandings about “what childhood should be at the time and place where we live” (p.20). These lenses through which we interpret children are in “conversation” with each other. These images and definitions of the child change and expand when we encounter new ways to understand who children are and who they can be.

Changing Conceptions of the Child:

From a Passive Recipient of Knowledge to a Valued Participant in Knowledge Construction

One dominant conception of childhood is that of the child as an incomplete adult (Moss & Petrie, 2002). Historically children have been thought of as empty vessels to be filled by knowledge and culture. This view of the child devalues early childhood as a stage that is merely a preparation or readying for the next, more important, stage of adulthood.
Another common conception of childhood is connected with the psychological or scientific understanding of child as a person embodied in the process of development. At its inception, developmental theory relied heavily on biological determinism and children were depicted as going through universal, predetermined, sequential stages. Developmental theory afforded the discussion about similarities in behaviour and thinking among children of the same age and the use of terms such as “age-appropriate” or “developmentally- appropriate”. One issue with the developmental lens lies in thinking about children in terms of
what they are supposed to do at a certain stage(Lenz Taguchi, 2005). This might limit what we perceive as educationally possible for young children (i.e., we may assume that toddlers can not express themselves artistically, because their fine motor skills are not well-developed, and thus, deny them the opportunity to paint or draw).

Children as meaning makers and theory builders

With the rise of constructivist theories the child has been conceived in more active terminologies. For example, children are considered active seekers of meaning, wanting to explore, study, and understand the world around them. It was Piaget who originally studied children as theory builders in a systematic and scientific way. In his book
The Child Conception of the World(1973), Piaget set out to explore how children perceive reality. He and his colleagues interviewed children ages two to fourteen, asking them questions such as, do you know what it means to think, what is it to be alive, where clouds come from, why it rains, what is the moon, the starts, and more.

In the following interview examples from Piaget’s book the children had been asked about the concept of thought, in particular, they were asked what they think with.
Barb (5 1/2 year old)
-You know what it means to think of something?
-Think of your house
-What do you think with?
-With the ears
Ceres (7 year old)
-What do you think with?
-I don’t know
-Where do you think?
-In the mouth inside the head
From these types of interviews Piaget concluded that children in the preoperational stage are magical thinkers (i.e. they often contribute human characteristics to objects in order to explain their behaviour. For example, rain can be explained as tears coming from sad clouds). From a developmental perspective, differences in thinking reflect differences in children intuitive theories about the world. However, Piaget saw children’s thinking as primitive; he focused on children’s cognitive processes and on what they do not understand or grasp in order to explain their theories. While constructivism acknowledges the role that children play in their own learning, knowledge proposed and held by children is often considered “less than” adult knowledge in terms of its quality; child’s knowledge is considered as incomplete.

Children as Co-construction of Knowledge and Identity

A new perspective of the child has been promoted by socio-cultural perspectives, which took the idea of children as meaning makers further by proposing that what the child brings into the conversation is a significant attempt to make meaning within a particular history, culture, language, and symbol systems. It is less about the child getting the “correct” answer and more about how children expand their understandings about the world they live in and the role they play in it. From this perspective, children’s ideas and theories become a place from which rich conversations about meanings can arise. For example, a different view from Piaget about childrens theories is found in the way Rinaldi (2006) interprets childrens theories. She says, “Very often the theories and understanding expressed by the child are defined as ‘misunderstandings’ or naive theories…Rather, they should be viewed as something much more important. The genesis of the young child’s desire to ask herself questions very early in life…her wondering, her whys” (p.112). Rinaldi pushes us to think about what lies beyond and behind these questions that children ask, to value and appreciate the child’s quest to make meaning of experiences and give this meaning significance.
Following are examples of how Rinaldi interprets children’s comments:

Child’s theory:”The Sea is born from the mother wave”

Rinaldi:This child is developing the idea that everything has an origin.

Child’s theory:”When someone dies, do they go into the belly of death and then get born again?”

Rinaldi:This child is searching for meaning in life.

Consider the differences between Rinaldi and Piaget’s interpretation of children’s theories. Two distinct view points – one that seeks to compare child’s thought with “higher” level thinking, and the other which seeks to find what the child has to offer in a particular place and a point in time.

The Image of the Educator

A social-constructivist perspective pushes educators to imagine children not only in terms of what they know, but also in terms of how they think, feel, respond, and act, as well as why they think and act in a particular way. Seeing children through the social-cultural lens necessitates an on going commitment to reflection and dialogue among teachers, children, families, and even the greater community. The image of the educator as a reflective practitioner who actively researches children’s learning processes has been linked with living in more complex and diverse societies. Teachers become participants in trying to understand with children and families ‘what is a good childhood and what is meaningful learning in our unique context?’
One example of this commitment can be found in the strategy of Learning Stories which we have discussed in the previous module. Through learning stories educators (often working in collaboration) weave an image of the child as an active learner and a co-constructor of knowledge through documenting moments of learning that occur or are situated within a particular context. When children view their learning stories portfolio by themselves, with peers, teachers, parents, and even grand parents, they start to develop an understanding of their identity as learners and valued community members. They can see who participated in their learning processes (peers, teachers, parents), how their learning occurred in different contexts (on the playground, in the writing centre, painting at the easel, etc.), what tools they used to learn (a book, an “expert,” a photograph). This focus on child’s identity as a learner is an attempt to shift the attention from the norms, institutionalized expectations, and outcomes to the child him or herself.

Children as Participants and Teachers as a Researchers

“We must deconstruct how we value children’s way of learning, as well as their ways of expressing what they are learning. We must think about the conditions that invite children to use a multitude of ways to express their knowledge, their thoughts, and their questions. Lastly, when adding new ways of making meaning and expressing knowledge, we must guard against favouring certain expressions that might actually constitute a better way of meaning making for certain children in specific contexts”
Lenz-Taguchi, 2005, p.276
In the article by Clark (2007) that you are asked to read for this module, the author provides an example of how adults can engage children and children’s perspectives in a project of designing their own an outdoor space. Clark’s method of working with young children, called “The Mosaic Approach”, can inspire educators to pursue educational project that intentionally involve the child as a valued community member whose thoughts and ideas are taken seriously. Children, in this context, have the right and possibility to affect their own lives.


Clark, A. (2007). A hundred ways of listening: Gathering childrens perspectives of their early childhood environment.
YC Young Children, 62(3), 76-81. (Library Course Reserves)

Malaguzzi, L. (1994).
Your image of the child where teaching begins.

Links to an external site.
See Attached PDF Exchange 3/94

These comments are translated and adapted from a seminar
presented by Professor Loris Malaguzzi in Reggio Emilia,
Italy, June 1993.

There are hundreds of different images of the child.
Each one of you has inside yourself an image of the
child that directs you as you begin to relate to a child.
This theory within you pushes you to behave in
certain ways; it orients you as you talk to the child,
listen to the child, observe the child. It is very
difficult for you to act contrary to this internal image.
For example, if your image is that boys and girls are
very different from one another, you will behave
differently in your interactions with each of them.

The environment you construct around you and the
children also reflects this image you have about the
child. Theres a difference between the environment
that you are able to build based on a preconceived
image of the child and the environment that you can
build that is based on the child you see in front of you
the relationship you build with the child, the
games you play. An environment that grows out of
your relationship with the child is unique and fluid.
The quality and quantity of relationships among you
as adults and educators also reflects your image of
the child. Children are very sensitive and can see and
sense very quickly the spirit of what is going on
among the adults in their world. They understand
whether the adults are working together in a truly
collaborative way or if they are separated in some
way from each other, living their experience as if it
were private with little interaction.

Posing Important Questions

When you begin working with children in the
morning, you must, as adults, pose questions about

the children, such as: When are these children really
going to begin socializing? And at the same time
the children will pose questions to the adults: When
are the adults really going to begin socializing? This
is a dialogue that needs to be continual between the
adults and the children. The adults ask questions
from the world of adults to the children. The
children will ask questions to the adults. The expec-
tations that the children have of the adults and the
adults have of the children are important. We must
spend some time talking about these expectations.

The family mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grand-
parents is also involved in this questioning. Daily

Your Image of the Child:
Where Teaching Begins

by Loris Malaguzzi

they need to ask: What is this child doing in the

Its very probable that once a day, maybe twice or
three times or many times a day, the children are
asking themselves: What is my mother doing?
What is my father doing? What is my brother or
my sister doing? Are they having more fun than I
am? Are they bored?

The school we are talking about is not the school you
are familiar with in the past, but it is something that
you can hope for.

Considering Each Childs Reality

We can never think of the child in the abstract. When
we think about a child, when we pull out a child to
look at, that child is already tightly connected and
linked to a certain reality of the world she has
relationships and experiences. We cannot separate
this child from a particular reality. She brings these
experiences, feelings, and relationships into school
with her.

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And it is the same for you as adults. When you
enter the school in the morning, you carry with you
pieces of your life your happiness, your sadness,
your hopes, your pleasures, the stresses from your
life. You never come in an isolated way; you always
come with pieces of the world attached to you. So
the meetings that we have are always contaminated
with the experiences that we bring with us.

Growing Comfortable with the Unknown

School is not at all like billiards. When you play
billiards you push the ball with a certain force and it
hits the table and bounces off; theres a definite way
the ball will go, depending on force and direction.
Children are not at all like this, predictable. But
sometimes schools function as if they were; these are
schools with no joy.

Of course, many things that happen in school can be
seen ahead and planned beforehand. But many
things that happen cannot be known ahead of time.
Something will start to grow inside the child and
suddenly what is happening in the school will move
in that direction. Sometimes what happens starts
inside the adults. School can never be always
predictable. We need to be open to what takes place
and able to change our plans and go with what
might grow at that very moment both inside the
child and inside ourselves.

Each one of us needs to be able to play with the
things that are coming out of the world of children.
Each one of us needs to have curiosity, and we need
to be able to try something new based on the ideas
that we collect from the children as they go along.
Life has to be somewhat agitated and upset, a bit
restless, somewhat unknown. As life flows with the
thoughts of the children, we need to be open, we
need to change our ideas; we need to be comfortable
with the restless nature of life.

All of this changes the role of the teacher, a role that
becomes much more difficult and complex. It also
makes the world of the teacher more beautiful,
something to become involved in.

Enjoying Relationships

The ability to enjoy relationships and work together
is very important. Children need to enjoy being in
school, they need to love their school and the interac-

tions that take place there. Their expectations of
these interactions is critical.

It is also important for the teachers to enjoy being
with the other teachers, to enjoy seeing the children
stretch their capacities and use their intelligences, to
enjoy interactions with the children. Both parts are

Both children and adults need to feel active and
important to be rewarded by their own efforts,
their own intelligences, their own activity and
energy. When a child feels these things are valued,
they become a fountain of strength for him. He feels
the joy of working with adults who value his work
and this is one of the bases for learning.

Overactivity on the part of the adult is a risk factor.
The adult does too much because he cares about the
child; but this creates a passive role for the child in
her own learning.

Finding Our Way in the Forest

All of this is a great forest. Inside the forest is the
child. The forest is beautiful, fascinating, green, and
full of hopes; there are no paths. Although it isnt
easy, we have to make our own paths, as teachers
and children and families, in the forest. Sometimes
we find ourselves together within the forest, some-
times we may get lost from each other, sometimes
well greet each other from far away across the forest;
but its living together in this forest that is important.
And this living together is not easy.

We have to find each other in the forest and begin to
discuss what the education of the child actually
means. The important aspect is not just to promote
the education of the child but the health and happi-
ness of the child as well.

We need to think of the school as a living organism.
Children have to feel that the world is inside the
school and moves and thinks and works and reflects
on everything that goes on. Of course not all children
are the same each child brings a part of something
thats different into the school.

Learning to Wait

All of this pushes us to produce a higher level of
observation. We must move beyond just looking at
the child to become better observers, able to penetrate

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into the child to understand each childs resources
and potential and present state of mind. We need to
compare these with our own in order to work well

Our task is to construct educational situations that we
propose to the children in the morning. Its okay to
improvise sometimes but we need to plan the project.
It may be a project that is projected over a period of
days, or weeks, or even months. We need to produce
situations in which children learn by themselves, in
which children can take advantage of their own
knowledge and resources autonomously, and in
which we guarantee the intervention of the adult as
little as possible. We dont want to teach children
something that they can learn by themselves. We
dont want to give them thoughts that they can come
up with by themselves. What we want to do is
activate within children the desire and will and great
pleasure that comes from being the authors of their
own learning.

We need to know how to recognize a new presence,
how to wait for the child. This is something that is
learned, its not automatic. We often have to do it
against our own rush to work in our own way. Well
discover that our presence, which has to be visible
and warm, makes it possible for us to try to get inside
the child and what that child is doing. And this may
seem to be passive, but it is really a very strong
activity on our part.

Becoming Totally Involved

Its a constant value for the children to know that the
adult is there, attentive and helpful, a guide for the
child. Perhaps this way of working with the child
will build a different understanding of our role than
we have had before. Clarifying the meaning of our
presence and our being with children is something
that is vital for the child. When the child sees that the
adult is there, totally involved with the child, the
child doesnt forget. This is something thats right for
us and its right for the children.

There are many things that are part of a childs life
just as they are part of an adults life. The desire to
do something for someone, for instance. Every adult
has a need to feel that we are seen/observed by
others. (Observing others is also important.) This is
just as true for children as for adults. Therefore, its
possible to observe, to receive a lot of pleasure and
satisfaction from observing in many different ways.

When the child is observed, the child is happy its
almost an honor that he is observed by an adult. On
the other hand, a good teacher who knows how to
observe feels good about himself because that person
knows that he is able to take something from the
situation, transform it, and understand it in a new

What the child doesnt want is an observation from
the adult who isnt really there, who is distracted.
The child wants to know that she is observed, care-
fully, with full attention. The child wants to be
observed in action. She wants the teacher to see the
process of her work, rather than the product. The
teacher asks the child to take a bucket of water from
one place to the other. Its not important to the child
that the teacher only sees him arrive with the bucket
of water at the end. What is important to the child is
that the teacher sees the child while the child is
working, while the child is putting out the effort to
accomplish the task the processes are important,
how much the child is putting into the effort, how
heroic the child is doing this work. What children
want is to be observed while engaged, they do not
want the focus of the observation to be on the final
product. When we as adults are able to see the
children in the process, its as if we are opening a
window and getting a fresh view of things.

If only you had seen all I had to do. The child
wants this observation. We all want this. This means
that when you learn to observe the child, when you
have assimilated all that it means to observe the
child, you learn many things that are not in books
educational or psychological. And when you have
done this you will learn to have more diffidence and
more distrust of rapid assessments, tests, judgments.
The child wants to be observed, but she doesnt want
to be judged. Even when we do judge, things escape
us, we do not see things, so we are not able to evalu-
ate in a wide way. This system of observing children
carries you into many different feelings and thoughts,
into a kind of teaching full of uncertainty and doubt,
and it takes wisdom and a great deal of knowledge
on the part of the teachers to be able to work within
this situation of uncertainty.

Discovering a New Way of Observing

Observing in this way offers tremendous benefits. It
requires a shift in the role of the teacher from an
emphasis of teaching to an emphasis on learning,
teachers learning about themselves as teachers as
well as teachers learning about children. This is a

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self-learning that takes place for the teacher and it
enables the teacher to see things that are taking place
in children that teachers were not able to see before.

We have to let children be with children. Children
learn a lot from other children, and adults learn
from children being with children. Children love to
learn among themselves, and they learn things that
it would never be possible to learn from interactions
with an adult. The interaction between children is a
very fertile and a very rich relationship. If it is left to
ferment without adult interference and without that
excessive assistance that we sometimes give, then
its more advantageous to the child. We dont want
to protect something that doesnt need to be pro-

Its important for the teacher who works with young
children to understand that she knows little about
children. Teachers need to learn to see the children,
to listen to them, to know when they are feeling some
distance from us as adults and from children, when
they are distracted, when they are surrounded by a
shadow of happiness and pleasure, and when they
are surrounded by a shadow of sadness and suffer-
ing. We have to understand that they are moving
and working with many ideas, but their most impor-
tant task is to build relationships with friends. They
are trying to understand what friendship is. Children
grow in many directions together, but a child is
always in search of relationships. Children get to
know each other through all their senses. Touching
the hair of another child is very important. Smell is
important. This is a way children are able to under-
stand the identity of themselves and the identity of

Redefining Roles

We need to define the role of the adult, not as a
transmitter but as a creator of relationships
relationships not only between people but also
between things, between thoughts, with the environ-
ment. Its like we need to create a typical New York
City traffic jam in the school.

We teachers must see ourselves as researchers, able to
think, and to produce a true curriculum, a curriculum
produced from all of the children.

What we so often do is impose adult time on
childrens time and this negates children being able to
work with their own resources.

When we in Reggio say children have 100 languages,
we mean more than the 100 languages of children, we
also mean the 100 languages of adults, of teachers.
The teacher must have the capacity for many differ-
ent roles. The teacher has to be the author of a play,
someone who thinks ahead of time. Teachers also
need to be the main actors in the play, the protago-
nists. The teacher must forget all the lines he knew
before and invent the ones he doesnt remember.
Teachers also have to take the role of the prompter,
the one who gives the cues to the actors. Teachers
need to be set designers who create the environment
in which activities take place. At the same time, the
teacher needs to be the audience who applauds.

The teacher has many different roles and she needs to
be in many places and do many different things and
use many languages. Sometimes the teacher will find
himself without words, without anything to say; and
at times this is fortunate for the child, because then
the teacher will have to invent new words.

Forging Alliances with Families

We must forge strong alliances with the families of
our children. Imagine the school as an enormous
hot air balloon. The hot air balloon is on the ground
when the parents bring their children in the
morning. Some parents think the balloon is going to
rise up and fly around during the day. Others
would really prefer that the balloon remain on the
ground because that way they are sure their children
are safe and protected. But the children want to go
up and fly and travel everywhere in a hot air
balloon, to see in this different way, to look at things
from above. Our problem is that to make the hot air
balloon fly we have to make sure that parents
understand the importance of what the teachers and
children are doing in the hot air balloon. Flying
through the air, seeing the world in a different way,
adds to the wealth of all of us, particularly the

We need to make a big impression on parents, amaze
them, convince them that what we are doing is some-
thing extremely important for their children and for
them, that we are producing and working with chil-
dren to understand their intelligence and their intelli-
gences. This means that we have to become skilled in
flying and managing this hot air balloon. Perhaps it
was our previous lack of skill that made us fall. We
all need to learn to be better hot air balloon pilots.

Exchange 3/94

Building Strong Images

What we have to do now is draw out the image of the
child, draw the child out of the desperate situations
that many children find themselves in. If we redeem
the child from these difficult situations, we redeem

Children have a right to a good school a good
building, good teachers, right time, good activities.
This is the right of ALL children.

It is necessary to give an immediate response to a
child. Children need to know that we are their
friends, that they can depend on us for the things they
desire, that we can support them in the things that
they have, but also in the things that they dream
about, that they desire.

Children have the right to imagine. We need to give
them full rights of citizenship in life and in society.

Its necessary that we believe that the child is very
intelligent, that the child is strong and beautiful and
has very ambitious desires and requests. This is the
image of the child that we need to hold.

Those who have the image of the child as fragile,
incomplete, weak, made of glass gain something from
this belief only for themselves. We dont need that as
an image of children.

Instead of always giving children protection, we need
to give them the recognition of their rights and of their

Translated by Baji Rankin, Leslie Morrow, and Lella

Loris Malaguzzi
February 23, 1920 January 30, 1994

Loris Malaguzzi, founder of the Reggio Emilia
Approach, began teaching in schools started by
parents just after the end of WWII. Through the

years, he transformed that courageous initiative into
the internationally acclaimed program for young

children that we know today.

Those who worked with Malaguzzi or heard him
speak have vivid memories of an intense learning

experience his philosophical reflections, surprising
observations, challenges of conventional thoughts in
education, unexpected turns of thought, complexity
of ideas, and delightful metaphors. One way to pay
tribute to Loris Malaguzzi is to listen to his words:

Our goal is to build an amiable school, where
children, teachers and families feel at home. Such a
school requires careful thinking and planning con-
cerning procedures, motivations and interests. It
must embody ways of getting along together, of

intensifying relationships.
Edwards, Gandini, and Forman (editors),

The Hundred Languages of Children (Norwood, NJ:
Ablex, 1993).


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