REGGIO EMILIA APPROACH
In the post World War II era in Italy, the father of Reggio Emilia approach, late Loris Malaguzzi, together with parents and citizens of the city of Reggio Emilia, decided to create and offer something new for children in times of depression and uncertainty. They wanted to create an environment that supported the child’s individual development of becoming an independent thinker and problem solver with strong empathy skills and understanding of the world around.
Reggio philosophy and belief is that all children are born with unique competences, interests and knowledge. This is why children should have the control over the direction of their learning, be able to have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves, have a relationship with other children, and be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, and observing.
The 5 key elements of the Reggio Emilia approach:
- Children’s learning is based on their interests.
- Teachers and parents are co-learners in the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education.
- The classroom environment is a “third teacher”.
- Children’s learning progress is documented.
- Teachers focus on the many ways kids learn, because children “speak 100 languages”.
When children are painting, dancing, constructing, singing, drawing, laughing, climbing, and exploring the material, they are expressing their identity, feelings, thoughts and ideas. Reggio philosophy and the classroom environment supports children to express themselves in any way they choose to. We try to use upcycled material when we create, which helps the imagination and does not harm the environment. Creative work and play are the ways we teach as well as learn about ourselves, others and the world around us.