Workshop brings unique perspectives on teaching

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— Parents considering enrolling their children in the Kaleidoscope arts program Dec. 26 through 29 will want to consider a workshop being hosted by First Impressions at the Whiteman Primary School Saturday.
The free workshop will introduce attendees to the "Reggio Emillia" approach to education developed in a war-torn village in northern Italy immediately after World War II. Reggio Emillia focuses on projects initiated by adult teachers but ultimately shaped by the children in the class.
Kaleidoscope is an ongoing program of arts education sponsored by the Steamboat Springs Arts Council.
This month's program, presented during the holiday break from school, will involve children working with charcoal and pastels during morning sessions and music classes in the afternoon.
Reggio Emillia, actually the name of the village in Italy, was developed by a young teacher named Loris Malaguzzi.
He was seeking to form a partnership among parents and preschool teachers to restore education in the village.
In the view of Reggio educators, the visual arts are not a separate part of the curriculum from academic pursuits but inseparable from the overall development of the child.
Projects begin with teachers observing and questioning children about the topic of interest, according to Kaleidoscope program director Debbie Young.
Based on children's responses, teachers introduce materials, questions and opportunities that provoke children to further explore the topic.
Curriculum planning and implementation revolve around open-ended and often long-term projects that are based on the reciprocal nature of teacher-directed and child-initiated activity.
The workshop runs from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Child care and snack foods are provided.
Kaleidoscope is still looking for adults to participate in the musical portion of the curriculum Dec. 26-29.
Interested people can get involved in either Saturday's workshop or Kaleidoscope by calling 871-4766 or 870-9328.

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