Early Childhood Education faculty Christie Colunga reviewed Mosaic of Marks, Words, Materials for the September 2019 edition of the journal Innovations in Early Education: The International Reggio Emilia Exchange. The enigmatic title, Mosaic of Marks, Words, Material, pertains to an exhibit, a catalogue, and a current studio in the Loris Malaguzzi Center in Reggio Emilia, Italy. The purpose of all three is to “restore to drawing, materials, words, and the children all the cognitive and expressive richness they generate”. To this end, the exhibition and its catalogue are an “unfinished story that seeks wider spaces for reflection and comparison of ideas”. Christie participated in the Mosaic of Marks studio experience during her May 2019 study in Reggio Emilia, Italy.
Marjorie Ruiz, PVCC Early Childhood Education major and Deer Valley Unified School District Community Education staff member was also a participant in the Mosaic of Marks studio in May 2019. Upon her return, Marjorie was invited to lead the district’s November 1, 2019 professional development. With support of PVCC Fine Arts graduate Melanie Akins, the PVCC ECE faculty, and First Things First funded professional development leader, Dr. Gigi Yu, Marjorie polished her presentation and workshop. Over 40 Deer Valley Unified School District Community Education educators participated in the professional development entitled, Reggio Emilia, An Insight into the Approach through the lens of an Arizona Educator.
Marjorie and Melanie offered the district staff the opportunity to experience many beautiful art media, including stunning markers, pastels, and charcoal on a variety of unexpected surfaces. The educators discovered many surprises and constructed valuable knowledge about the materials’ attributes. We look forward to the next chapter in this experience where children discover the potential of marks, words, and materials alongside their teachers.