Five Minutes With: Katja Keene-Fabig

By Carmarlena Murdaca

Five Minutes With: Katja Keene-Fabig

MiNDFOOD chats with atelierista, Katja Keene-Fabig, at Bear Park Centre of Learning.

What is the role of atelierista?

Its very dynamic. It involves drawing on a broad knowledge of visual communication to enrich the child’s learning. The atelierista works with other teachers in a collaborative setting – we are responsible for bringing awareness to the ‘interconnectedness’ of things. Sometimes we focus on the intricate details of a subject or idea, and extend the learning through creative materials and technology. We celebrate the arts, but always with bigger picture learning in mind. The atelierista is also present to support and inspire other teachers in the centre.

Why is the role an important part of the Reggio approach?

It provides a place for children to become masters of expressive techniques, such as painting, drawing and working with clay. These are some of the many languages a child can draw on to communicate with. The atelierista can also document firsthand how children are devising new paths to communication. It is my job to provide a richness in material so every child can learn and build knowledge in a way that works for them.

Common materials found in a Reggio Emilia-inspired atelier photographed in one of the Bear Park centres.

What are some of the key philosophies of the role?

Sustainability; imagination; engaging sensorial participation; multimodal literacy; and visual communication.

For more information, head to Bear Park.


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