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A Manner of Speaking Mar/Apr '94

by Bonnie Neugebauer
March/April 1994
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Article Link: http://www.exchangepress.com/article/a-manner-of-speaking/5009680/

You gasp when you walk in the door. You can't help it. And you stand there motionless as a smile begins to shape your face. That moment, when you are enveloped by the beauty of the schools for young children in Reggio Emilia, Italy, is an experience of wonder you never forget.

As you enter many programs for young children in the United States, even many excellent programs, there is little beauty to behold. In fact, if one is to be perfectly honest, there's a lot of clutter and cute. Why is that?

Reggio educators speak eloquently about the beauty that children deserve. Do we believe that children deserve less? I don't think so, but I do wonder if somehow we have lost our sense of beauty. We don't seem to notice its absence; we don't give credence to its significance in our lives.

If questioned about a lack of beauty in our programs, my guess is that we would offer up insufficient funds as our excuse. But the schools in Reggio are beautiful in ways that aren't necessarily expensive. Much of the equipment and furniture is crafted by ...

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