Date of Award


Degree Name

Curriculum and Instruction


College of Education

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Campbell, Committee Chairperson

Second Advisor

Dr. Bobbi Nicholson

Third Advisor

Dr. Edna Meisel


The purpose of this study was to use the principles of the Reggio Emilia Approach to change how children in a high poverty school in West Virginia are educated. Specifically, this study was an exploration of the learning space as a third teacher, teachers as researchers, and giving students agency in their learning. A philosophy supporting emergent and participatory inquiry was developed and carried out for this project. Data were collected using several qualitative methods such as participant observation, discussion, interviews, photo elicitation, and student work. Conclusions from this project include: that there is potential of using space as a third teacher; that reformulating teachers as researchers will make the craft of teaching stronger; and that students who are given the opportunity to exercise true agency in their learning will be more engaged in their learning and have a breadth and depth of work more complex than traditional learning.


Reggio Emilia approach (Early childhood education) -- West Virginia.

Education, Elementary -- West Virginia.

Child development -- West Virginia.