Child, Youth, and Family Studies, Department of


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Edwards, C.P., Cline, K. D., Gandini, L., Giacomelli,, A., Giovannini, D., and Galardini, A. (2014). Books, stories, and the imagination at ‘The Nursery Rhyme’: A qualitative case study of a preschool learning environment in Pistoia, Italy. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 28, 1-25.


This paper is forthcoming in the Journal of Research in Childhood Education, a journal of the Association for Childhood Education International, and published by Taylor & Francis.


The progressive educational systems of some regions of Italyare becoming increasingly recognized by educators and researchers, including those from North America, seeking insight into diverse educational approaches from the international community. This paper represents a case study of Filastrocca (“Nursery Rhyme”), a preschool in the Tuscan city of Pistoia. Filastrocca proclaims a special mission related to books, storytelling, and the imagination, and appears to offer a unique environment that supports children’s active and enthusiastic engagement in complex literacy discussions and activities. The purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed description of the learning environment for language and literacy at the preschool. There is an emphasis on exploring what kinds of opportunities related to books, storytelling, and the imagination are providing to support and encourage young children and their families, and in examining how the learning environment reflects the mission of the school in fostering early childhood language and literacy.