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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Art as a representation of children’s learning experiences : a Reggio Emilia inspired study Kim, Bo Sun

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore how children construct their knowledge using art as a learning and knowledge representation tool in the course of carrying out a project. In particular, this study was conducted in a Reggio inspired Canadian child care classroom in order to examine how the fundamental principles of the Reggio Emilia are implemented within a Canadian context. Qualitative case study methodology was employed to investigate children’s knowledge-building processes and their knowledge representation. The study focused on the in-depth study of six children’s activities during a ’Shades of Pink’ project. For this study, the process of children’s knowledge-building was documented. Through documenting this project, Shades of Pink, children’s own ideas and theories were discovered; children’s discussions were traced; and children’s multiple forms of representations were presented. This case study provides insight into the way the children construct knowledge. The project was first initiated because of children’s interest in mixing paints. In the collaboration with their teacher, the children developed the project into a meaningful context for learning. The children constructed hypotheses, tested their theories, and exchanged thoughts with their peers and the teacher in order to build knowledge. Through this process, the children constructed at least two different kinds of knowledge (a) social understanding/relationships, and (b) content knowledge. The children’s knowledge building processes are evident in the pedagogical documentation that was kept, including children’s conversations, teacher’s comments, pictures of children’s work, and pictures of children working. Pedagogical documentation played an important role in children’s learning in terms of (a) promoting parents’ involvement in children’s learning, (b) enhancing children’s learning, (c) helping the teacher plan and evaluate children and (d) making children’s learning visible.

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