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Early Childhood Education Journal

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 137–145 | Cite as

Monet, Malaguzzi, and the Constructive Conversations of Preschoolers in a Reggio-Inspired Classroom

  • Bo Sun Kim
  • Linda Farr Darling
Article

Abstract

This study was conducted in a Reggio inspired child care classroom of 4-year olds where the fundamental principles of Reggio Emilia preschools are interpreted for a Canadian context. Qualitative case study methodology was employed to investigate how social interaction plays a role in young children’s learning processes. Drawing on social constructivist views of children’s learning and socialization, children’s discussions and interactions within a preschool learning group were examined. Examination of children’s discourse is valuable not only for understanding individual and group learning experiences but also for illuminating children’s agency and their active roles in their own learning. The study focused on the in-depth study of six children’s activities during a ‘Shades of Pink’ project. As the project, ‘Shades of Pink’ unfolded, the children faced cognitive conflict while they were talking about the details of Monet’s painting, but worked toward building common understandings. In this study, children are considered to be meaning makers and active participants in their own learning processes. In addition, the relationships between children became a context in which the co-construction of theories, interpretations and various understandings of reality took place. Small group work became a basis for creating unity, a space in which thoughts took shape as well as a way to compare interpretations; with the result that new thoughts and meanings were produced.

Keywords

Reggio Emilia approach Conversations Social constructivism Socialization Discussion Learning group 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Curriculum and PedagogyThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Faculty of EducationThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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