Rethinking learning spaces: how Reggio Emilia environments promote critical thinking
Koop, Jessica L.
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The study explores the historical influences and pedagogical practices of the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education, and how particular aspects of its environment work as a third teacher to influence and promote critical thinking. This thesis draws connections between constructivist theory, social constructivism, critical thinking, and the key values and principles of the Reggio Emilia approach. In particular, exploration of the atelier, space, colour, lighting, materials, provocations, and documentation reveals a powerful link between intentional and thoughtful design and the higher order thinking process known as critical thinking. The revised BC curriculum is used to anchor and direct critical thinking as a competency taught and cultivated by teachers. A handbook was created to help Reggio-inspired educators transform their learning environments to reflect Reggio beliefs and to promote the core competency of critical thinking in their classrooms.