The Reggio Emilia Approach is an innovative and inspiring approach to early childhood education which values the child as strong, capable and resilient; rich with wonder and knowledge. Every child brings with them deep curiosity and potential and this innate curiosity drives their interest to understand their world and their place within it.
How did the Reggio Emilia Approach get inspired?
The Reggio Emilia Approach originated in 1945 after the World War II in the town (and surrounding areas) of Reggio Emilia in Italy. The Italian government gave each town a small amount of money to be use to build up their town. Most used it to build community centers. But the town of Villa Cella use the money to build a school for the children as in an investment in the future. What grew to be one of the most influential educational philosophies throughout the world started with very humble beginnings in the northern region of Italy, in a town called Villa Cella, a borough of Reggio Emilia. Five days after the war ended, rumors began to circulate of a group of women who had decided to build a school from the rubble left after the Germans retreated from Italy. The group of women sold an abandoned German tank, nine horses, and two military trucks and began to construct a school within the countryside with the intent to ensure the next generation of children would grow up intolerant to injustice or inequality. Having heard the rumors, Malaguzzi’s interest was piqued, and he rode his bike to the town to see what the rumors were about. After seeing and speaking to the mothers involved, Malaguzzi was so impressed that he stayed in Reggio to assist. In Malaguzzi’s words, “It was the women’s first victory after the war because the decision was theirs. The men might have used the money differently.”
Who is Loris Malaguzzi?
Loris Malaguzzi was an early childhood educator who founded the educational philosophy known as the Reggio Emilia Approach. He was instrumental in the creation of a network of municipal preschools and infant-toddler centers in the Italian town of Reggio Emilia.
What does Reggio-Inspired mean?
Reggio-inspired is not a method, it is a philosophy. Each Reggio-Inspired school may look different but will hold to these same principles as inspiration.
- Image of the child – the image of the child is seen as capable, passionate, and creative thinkers who construct their own knowledge of the world.
- Role of the teacher – in the Reggio classroom teachers are co-learners and collaborators with the children. Through active listening and thoughtful provocations, together they engage in explorations, deepen their learning experiences and nurture relationships.
- Environment as the third teacher – in the Reggio classroom the layout of the environment promotes relationships, communication, collaboration, and exploration through play. Materials are thoughtfully added to the environment to promote creativity, thinking, and problem solving skills, questions, experimentation, and open-ended play.
- The hundred languages of children – refers to the communication and emphasizes the importance of providing children with the one hundred ways to share their thinking of the world around them.
- Documentation – one of the primary focus on how and what children learn. Documentation typically includes samples of the children’s work, photographs of the children engaged in the project work, and comments and transcripts of conversations.
- Role of the parent – in the process of learning, the teachers, parents and child are viewed as collaborators. The parent is viewed as an essential resource to the child’s learning. The exchange of ideas between parents and teachers is vital in creating a more positive and productive learning environment.
- Role of the community – along with the parents the entire community should be involved in the lives and education of the children at the school. Along with the parents, the community has a proactive role in the students lives.