An Approach to Education

Reggio Emelia

“Once children develop certain skills and concepts such as empathy or critical thinking, that’s something that no one can take away.”

Katherine Hobson, The New York Times, April 15, 2020, “What are Reggio Emilia Schools?”

Only the BEst

What are Reggio Emilia Schools?

Reggio Emilia views young children as individuals who are curious about their world and have the powerful potential to learn from all that surrounds them.    Teachers employ strategies such as exposing children to a wide variety of educational opportunities that encourage self-expression, communication, logical thinking, and problem-solving.  Developed after WWII in Italy, by 1991, Newsweek reported that Reggio Emilia schools were among the top school systems in the world.

Reggio’s Main Components

Emergent Curriculum

Since children make meaning through everyday experiences and hands-on exploration, curriculum topics are derived from talking with children and their families, as well as from things that are known to be interesting to children (dinosaurs, art, languages, science experiments, and so on).  This allows them to test theories and make connections with their everyday environments. 

In-Depth Projects

What sets Reggio Emilia apart is its emphasis on student-led projects.  When students show interest in a topic, teachers create projects to encourage that interest.  They keep documentation in a portfolio for each child throughout the year, allowing them to track individual development.  Projects provide the backbone of the children’s and teachers’ learning experiences. 

Representational Development

The Reggio Emilia approach invites children to demonstrate their ideas in many different ways:  dance, paint, wire, clay, pencil, nature materials…other than just number and letter.  Giving the space for all of these efforts to flourish helps each child build confidence and excitement about their learning.

Collaboration

Children are encouraged to work together to problem-solve using dialogue, comparisons, negotiations, and other important interpersonal skills.  Children negotiate with teachers on which interests will be studied, which allows them to feel heard and respected, and encourages their sense of self-worth.

No Way. The Hundred Is There.

by Loris Malaguzzi

Translated by Lella Gandini

The child

is made of one hundred.

The child has

a hundred languages

a hundred hands

a hundred thoughts

a hundred ways of thinking

of playing, of speaking.

A hundred always a hundred

ways of listening

of marveling of loving

a hundred joys

for singing and understanding

a hundred worlds

to discover

a hundred worlds

to invent

a hundred worlds

to dream.

The child has

a hundred languages

(and a hundred, hundred, hundred more)

but they steal ninety-nine.

 

The school and the culture

separate the head from the body.

They tell the child:

to think without hands

to do without head

to listen and not to speak

to understand without joy

to love and to marvel

only at Easter and Christmas.

They tell the child:

to discover the world already there

and of the hundred

they steal ninety-nine.

They tell the child:

that work and play

reality and fantasy

science and imagination

sky and earth

reason and dream

are things

that do not belong together.

 

And thus they tell the child

that the hundred is not there.

The child says:

No way. The hundred is there.