Child, Youth, and Family Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Edwards, C.P., Shallcross, D. & Maloney, J. (1991) Enhancing Creativity in a Graduate Course on Creativity: Entering the Time and Space of the Young Child. Journal of Creative Behavior,25(4),304-10.
doi: 10.1002/j.2162-6057.1991.tb01142.x


Copyright © 1991 Creative Education Foundation. Distributed by John Wiley & Sons Co. Used by permission.


In designing a graduate class at the University of Massachusetts, called "Creativity and the Young Child," we built an experience for adults based on a highly regarded European preschool program based on the visual arts. The program, found in the municipal schools for three- to six- year-olds in the city of Reggio Emilia, Italy, is designed to foster young children's learning, representation, and expression through exploration and mastery of many symbolic media. We wanted to find out whether American adults exposed to the theoretical and practical elements of the Reggio Emilia approach - but on an adult level - would enjoy some of the same results the children seem to enjoy. There were three major phases to our course: 1) learning about the Reggio Emilia curriculum and pedagogy (the "Symbolic Languages Approach"); 2) experiencing aspects of the approach; and 3) designing and implementing student projects with children.