Every Monday is now officially Reggio Monday! We will share a number of ways to incorporate the Reggio Emilia Philosophy into your daily life and your classroom environment. First and foremost we want to share the basics.
The Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education is named after the town of Reggio Emilia located in northern Italy. In Reggio Emilia, publicly funded schools provide education for children from birth to six years. These schools have been described as among the best in the world. These schools located in Reggio Emilia began with parents, parents wanting to make a change. After World War Two, parents in Reggio Emilia Italy worked together and founded the town’s first pre-schools. These parents had and wanted a new kind of school where their children would be treated with respect and creators of their own learning as well as where they as parents could be active participants in their children’s education. These parents looked to educator Loris Malaguzzi to create these schools that worked with their true mission. These schools created a framework for the Reggio Emilia philosophy.
The Reggio Emilia approach offers a way for teachers to incorporate children’s natural curiosity by encouraging them to work on projects that interest them. This approach also encourages children to communicate their knowledge and understanding in a variety of media. Parents are also encouraged to be actively involved in all aspects of the school and their child’s learning. The most important part of this philosophy is the child. In this philosophy, teachers treat children as competent and capable of creating their own learning. The main principles of the Reggio Emilia philosophy include:
- Children are strong, interested, capable and curious.
- Children learn best working with others
- Children learn through “the hundred languages”
- Children learn best in a space where everything has a purpose.
- Children can stay focused on a topic of interest for long-term
- Teachers listen to and observe the children closely, ask questions, and explore the children’s ideas
- Teachers provide experiences that expand on children’s thinking and learning
- Teachers document the children’s work
- Parents provide ideas and skills, which make them active partners in the children’s learning