Favorite Vocabulary Words

Amateur—French origin meaning “lover of” reflects a voluntary motivation to work as a result of personal passion for a particular activity

Our studio is a place for amateurs of all ages and skill levels.

Atelier—an artists’ studio or workroom

Our work is inspired by the schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy.  In Reggio-inspired schools, the atelier is a resource and a center for expressing learning through the languages of materials.

Culture—“The word culture has  long been used in arts education, largely as a justification for bringing kids into art.  In the 21st century the word has connotations of elitism and privilege…the original etymological meaning of the word culture is closer to agriculture….the ancient meaning of culture is the medium in which we grow…” (Booth, E., 2008 quoted from AIMprint: New Relationships in the Arts and Learning)

We want to see students immersed in culture in a way that is relevant to their lives.  Having the opportunity to be creators themselves and to express ideas through artistic materials provides a way to deepen understanding and connections to others.

Documentation—the verb, “to document,” comes from the latin root, docere, meaning “to teach” 

We use documentation in the studio in the form of photos and notes to reflect on the children’s process and their learning.  Viewing the photos of their work allows us to deepen the dialogue with children and families; children teach us while sharing their discoveries and stories through the use of art materials.



One response to “Favorite Vocabulary Words

  1. Hello! I just wanted to comment on your favorite vocabulary words.

    I am also an artist/teacher, and I work regularly with young people in my own “Atelier”, in MD.

    In the Netherlands where I lived and worked for a number of years, that was the word used for studio, of course borrowed from the French hundreds of years ago.

    I have had the pleasure of seeing the art work in an exhibition, watching films, and reading articles about the learning and artistic activities that are daily used by the preschools of Reggio Emilio. (which by the way just means the region of Emilio) I have been so enlightened as to how they apply the concepts that facilitate learning.

    I am glad to hear that my neighbors across the bridge are indulging on the “free-range” learning that is the kind that really sticks in the end!

    My personal philosophy is that the more children, and others, are exposed to art, art materials, and art concepts, the less foreign they will be to them. It will become as second nature to them allowing them to really express themselves and enjoy the process of creativity.

    When I think of culture, I think of the word cultivate. There are many things that need a good dose of cultivation, or help and guidance in the growth process. For instance, fruit trees, gardens, businesses, cities, and people to name a few. Culture doesn’t just happen, it is learned, either through being expressly taught, or through exposure. In my opinion, a combination of both should be used concerning the arts.

    I am all for documentation as well! I want to allow the students to learn to articulate, as well as express themselves about what they, and or their peers have seen and done. We can learn so much by talking about and describing what we really see, as opposed to what we think.

    Much success as you all facilitate, document and encourage the artistic processes of your students!

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