Rethinking Kindergarten

Rethinking Kindergarten

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 a rich, interdisciplinary curriculum, and boast a full-time art teacher who works in direct conjunction with the regular classroom teacher.

Graduate Credits
Contact Hours Total
Graduate Credits / PD Hours 2 Graduate Credits / 90 PD Hours
Price Non-Graduate Credit $298.00 / Graduate Credit $598.00
Fri Sun
Dec 1 Dec 31
Upcoming Course Run Dates
Dec 1 Dec 31
Jan 1 Jan 31
Feb 1 Feb 28
Course Code
EDUC500 AOE013
Morningside College
Higher Learning Commission


  • 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.

Course Breakdown

Week 1
The Role of the Students
  1. Work through each of the six lessons that Reggio teaches.
  2. Develop approaches for using each of these ideas in your art room.
  3. Explore the differences between project work in Reggio and U.S. schools.
Week 2
The Teacher’s Role
  1. Compare and contrast the role of the art educator in your school and Reggio schools.
  2. Note the differences and similarities in curriculum planning, school structure and types of projects completed.
  3. Discuss how you currently document art-room learning and brainstorm ways to improve upon it.
  4. Create a learning documentation sample to hang in your classroom.
Week 3
Digging Deeper
  1. Create an action plan for material diversification and how to obtain these new materials.
  2. Discuss how you choose materials for your art room and why.
  3. Interview a preschool or kindergarten teacher to learn how young students operate and flourish.
Week 4
Taking Action
  1. Create a Pinterest board with inspiring space ideas that you can apply to your classroom.
  2. Develop an action plan to improve the educational space in your classroom.
  3. Reflect on the different aspects of the Reggio “space” and how it affects student learning.
  4. Leave class with a comprehensive tool kit of lesson plans and organizational strategies.

The Creativity Crisis

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

1. Research

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

2. Discussion

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.

3. 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 to your classmates and instructor what you’d like to do and how you would incorporate some of the Reggio inspirations into your plan.
Teresa K.
"I appreciated seeing examples of the Reggio approach in action. This class gave us some great ideas, and then being able to connect with other teachers, seeing their ideas and getting their feedback was priceless!"
Yolanda P.
"I left this course feeling as though I completed a FULL semester at school and found the assignments to be very relevant, engaging and informative. The layout and timeline of the course allowed us to lead the lives we're supposed to lead outside of work. The grading criteria is accessible in every post and feedback was given promptly. A great experience! "
Elizabeth B.
"This course not only gave food for thought and future development but inspired ideas we could immediately implement and act upon in our classrooms. This is for me a highly valuable outcome of professional development."

What do past course participants think?

Hundreds of art teachers have taken the course “Rethinking Kindergarten”. Here’s what they actually think — without cherry-picking.
(12 month rolling average from all post-course survey respondents – Updated 6/1/17)







Let’s Get Started

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