Publication Details

Lindsay, G. M. (2016). John Dewey and Reggio Emilia: Worlds apart - one vision. Australian Art Education, 37 (1), 21-37.


The Reggio Emilia educational project is internationally renowned for an early childhood pedagogy that centralises visual arts as a graphic language within multi-disciplinary projects. Loris Malaguzzi, the first director of the Italian project, is credited for introducing ateliers (art studios), as well as an atelierista (visual arts specialist) within each preschool. This paper suggests that Malaguzzi's conception of the atelier as a place for art focused, hands-on collaborative research with children may have been inspired by John Dewey's (1900) discussions about art laboratories as a unifying force for democratic and transformative education. Contemporary educators are invited to reflect on their own visual arts practice in light of the shared vision of these two educational philosophers.