Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

P. Bruce Uhrmacher, Ph.D.


Art, Communication, Creativity, Early childhood, Preschool, Reggio Emilia


The influence of the Reggio Emilia philosophy has been present in early childhood programs across the United States for decades, with many programs attempting to adapt the philosophy's concept of a studio, but few studies have examined them. This study describes, interprets, and appraises two Reggio-inspired studios in the United States in order to provide an in-depth analysis and shed new light on such practices.

Four questions guided this study: 1) What is the role of a studio in a Reggio-inspired school? 2) What is happening in the studio? 3) What are children learning in this environment? 4) How does the studio cultivate children's hundred languages?

Based on the methods of educational connoisseurship and criticism, this investigation provides a vivid description and interpretation of preschool-aged children's experiences in Reggio-inspired studios. Two sites were studied, one in Colorado and the other in Missouri. Six dimensions of schooling provided the conceptual framework which guided this study: intentional, structural, curricular, pedagogical, evaluative, and aesthetic. Similarities and differences between sites and art studios are examined and discussed, along with implications for the field of early childhood education.

The overall findings that emerged reveal that Reggio-inspired studios have the potential to promote the following behaviors in children: 1) positive approaches to learning, 2) an ecological perspective, 3) creative thinking, 4) theory building, and 5) communication through many different languages. The findings also suggest that Reggio-inspired studios help children learn that there are many ways to express their thinking, questions, feelings and ideas. This occurs by children having access to a wealth of materials, the time to explore the materials, and the support to develop skills and techniques in the studio. As a result, children learn to use materials as languages and create their own toolbox or repertoire of communication strategies that they can carry with them.


Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Laura Ann Ganus

File size

258 p.

File format





Early childhood education, Art education, Curriculum development