Rethinking Kindergarten


Credits: 2 Credits
PD Hours: 80 Hours
Length: 4 Weeks

Is kindergarten becoming college prep? Do we underestimate the value of allowing our youngest students to play, explore, and create, even in the art room? Let’s “rethink” the way we teach our youngest students! During this course you’ll explore teaching methods used in the preschools of Reggio Emilia in Italy, which are some of the most renowned preschools in the world. These schools value the arts as an equal partner to the other academic subjects, provide rich, interdisciplinary curriculum, and boast a full-time art teacher who works in direct conjunction with the regular-classroom teacher.


Course Takeaways

  • Create kindergarten lessons to better fit your students’ developmental needs.

  • Incorporate into your classroom the six philosophies taught in the Reggio approach.

  • Use artwork as an important resource to help students learn concepts, and explore and deepen their knowledge of the world around them.

  • Learn how to create powerful partnerships with teachers in regular classrooms.

  • Develop strong relationships with parents so you can work together to help mold their child’s education.




I would recommend this class because the information was relevant, the pacing was comfortable, and it was affordable. I especially liked being able to share ideas with art teachers throughout the country. I felt like I learned as much from everyone else as I did from the readings, if not more.

- Ellen F.

The course was well organized, I knew what was expected of me, and I feel like it was a worthwhile investment.

- Samara M.

Having a Reggio-inspired teaching philosophy is a great idea.

- Virginia B.

The information presented was interesting and engaging. It challenged the way that I teach my classes and caused me to ‘rethink’ my strategies. I would recommend this to anyone who teaches early education, but even for those with older kids, as some of the information could transcend ages.

- Samara M.

I not only learned a lot but loved the interaction with my peers online.

- Pam J.


Course Breakdown

Week 1: The Role of the Students

  • Work through each of the six lessons that Reggio teaches.
  • Develop approaches for using each of these ideas in your art room.
  • Explore the differences between project work in Reggio and U.S. schools.

Week 2: The Teacher’s Role

  • Compare and contrast the role of the art educator in your school and Reggio schools.
  • Note the differences and similarities in curriculum planning, school structure, and types of projects completed.
  • Discuss how you currently document art room learning and brainstorm ways to improve upon it.
  • Create a learning documentation sample to hang in your classroom.

Week 3: Digging Deeper

  • Create an action plan for material diversification and how to obtain these new materials.
  • Discuss how you choose materials for your art room – and why.
  • Interview a preschool or kindergarten teacher to learn how young students operate and flourish.

Week 4: Taking Action

  • Create a Pinterest board with inspiring space ideas that you can apply to your classroom.
  • Develop an action plan to improve the educational space in your classroom.
  • Reflect on the different aspects of the Reggio “space” and how it affects student learning.
  • Leave class with a comprehensive toolkit of lesson plans and organizational strategies.





Featured Instructor

I love this course because it really asks us to get down to the very essentials of early childhood education and use art to help kids learn through Reggio-style experiences. Teachers who take this course not only walk away with some strategies to help teach our littlest of students, but an overall philosophy of learning that can be applied to almost any art classroom. – Sarah D.




Sample Assignment


The Creativity Crisis

A sample assignment from Week 1 of the class “Rethinking Kindergarten”



Examine the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education. Pay special attention to project work and how different Reggio project work can be compared to work done in American schools.  


Describe your teaching position, then share the advantages and disadvantages it provides. Talk about the management plans you’ve used in the past, why you chose them, and how they worked for you.


Practical, Hands-On Application

Outline a plan for a long-term project you’d like to conduct in one of your early childhood art classes. Describe for your classmates and instructor what you’d like to do and how you would incorporate some of the Reggio inspirations into your plan.




  • Degree Level Graduate Credit
  • Morningside Grade Report
  • Morningside Transcript
  • Full HLC Degree-Level Accreditation
  • Letter Grade
  • 80+ PD Contact Hours
  • Full Access to Class Resources
  • Full Instructor Feedback
  • AOE Certificate of Course Completion
Buy Now



  • Degree Level Graduate Credit
  • Morningside Grade Report
  • Morningside Transcript
  • Full HLC Degree-Level Accreditation
  • Letter Grade
  • 80+ PD Contact Hours
  • Full Access to Class Resources
  • Full Instructor Feedback
  • AOE Certificate of Course Completion
Buy Now



Upcoming Class Run Dates

APR 1-30th
JUN 1-30th
JUL 1-31st
AUG 1-31st


Contact Us

If you’re like most art teachers, you probably have a lot of questions about professional development. Every state’s requirements are different, and every school has their own policies and procedures.

Schedule a meeting now with an AOE Class Counselor who can help you cut through the complexity and create a PD plan that works for you and for your busy schedule.


If you need answers now, you can also send us an email at or call/text us at 515.650.3198.



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