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Inovacije u nastavi - časopis za savremenu nastavu
2014, vol. 27, iss. 4, pp. 44-54
article language: Serbian
document type: Review Paper
published on: 17/06/2015
doi: 10.5937/inovacije1404044V
The role of symbolic and expressive language of art in pedagogical concept of Reggio Emilia
University of Belgrade, Teacher Training Faculty



Reggio Emilia is a preschool educational system based on holistic approach to child, family, school and environment. It is unique in that it insists on the importance of the language of art, and arts based methods in the education of children. The aim of the paper is to show, through the presentation of the Reggio Emilia system, the important role artistic approaches can play in the learning process and development of preschoolers. The Reggio system not only considers the symbolic language of art and artistic expression to be indispensable for comprehensive and balanced development of young children, but it also recognizes art as an important means of communication and learning, as well as a driving force or mover of thinking process and cognizance. The system sees the use of arts media and forms as an integrating part of cognitive and symbolic expression present in the learning process. The text analyses the following: the role of artistic processes, aesthetics and expression in the activation of learning; the role of the atelier (studio) and physical environment in the learning process, as well as the role and interaction of teacher and atelierista (the term is usually not translated, and it refers to a professional person with formal education in visual arts). Various forms of presentation of children's experience abstracted as 'hundred languages of children' are also analyzed. Based on the analysis, a conclusion can be made that symbolic and expressive language of art has an exceptional role both in the domain of the affective and in the domain of cognitive development, and that the integrating and holistic character of art can have favourable influence upon almost all aspects of development of preschool children.


Reggio Emilia; holistic educational systems; symbolic and expressive language of art; learning through art


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