Reggio Emilia Method

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Reggio-Inspired



A leading-edge childhood education tool.

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The Reggio Emilia Method has evolved to become a leading-edge early childhood education tool. In Reggio Emilia, Italy, just after World War II, 54 public schools, with the help of educator Loris Malaguzzi, provided education for children from birth to 6 years old. The idea behind the philosophy was to create an environment of peace, communication, collaboration and respect for young children so that they may build a community of respect for the future generations and war would no longer be part of the city. The government, community and people are all an integral part of the success of the schools in Reggio Emilia and these schools became known as some of the best early learning schools in the world.

What does it mean to be Reggio-Inspired?
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Because in Italy this approach is integrated into the fabric of the local government, community and its people, it cannot be exactly replicated in the United States.  To be “Reggio-Inspired” is to adopt the core values and beliefs of this approach to educating young children.

The Image of the Child

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At the heart of the Reggio Emilia Approach is the powerful image of the child. The Reggio philosophy sees children full of potential, competent, curious, capable of long term sustained learning (Project work) when it is a topic they are interested in.

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Emergent Curriculum

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Teachers observe and document the interactions, discussions, and fascinations of children. By developing learning opportunities from these observations, the curriculum “emerges” from children’s interest and ideas.

Project Work

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Our educators deliver this emergent curriculum through project work. Project work gives children an opportunity to discover and explore an area of interest in detail. Project based work may last a day, a week, a month, or even longer as long as the children have an interest in the topic. Teachers are thoughtful about introducing a broad range of opportunities, from art, to music, to early language, math, science and nature experiences, in support of the project.

By exploring projects of the children’s interest in great detail, children are excited by the learning experiences. This enthusiasm for knowledge, combined with the ability to experience project work in detail, will foster a predisposition for “life-long” learning.

Role of the Teacher

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The role of a teacher is to listen, observe, document the children’s work, ask questions, explore their ideas, and identify their interests. From this information the teacher should provide experiences that provokes a child’s curiosity and learning. Reggio Emilia teachers also provide nurturing support to children and encourage strong relationships with parents.

Documentation

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By documenting the children’s work through photographs, video, written word, displays, etc., teachers tell the story of the children’s early childhood experiences. Every child has their own portfolio, consisting of artwork, photographs, information related to developmental milestones and more. Lesson plans, project boards and Daily Highlights explain the work of the children, and communicate the life of the school to the community at-large.

Parent & Community Involvement

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Parents are vital to teaching their children and are active partners in their child’s learning by providing their unique set of skills and knowledge. By participating in school life, parents will help their children learn. We treat our parents as responsible partners who have every right to participate in their children’s learning experience. We encourage parents to participate in project work, special events, and the daily life of the school.

Relationships in the community are also an important role in children’s education. They present unique knowledge in various cultures, special talents, intergenerational relationships, and a sense of belonging in a larger group. Emilia School recognizes the importance of being involved in the community. We plan various field trips to enjoy the community and involve children in various fundraisers to have them be part of a greater good.

Environment

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The Reggio Emilia belief is that the environment acts as the third teacher in a child’s learning. Children need to be in beautiful, open, orderly spaces where materials in the space have a purpose. Each learning space should stimulate exploration, engagement, discovery, curiosity, and a sense of wonder. The Reggio Emilia philosophy also has an emphasis on nature. Elements of nature are brought into the classroom and the outside environment is as important as the classroom. Children are encouraged to use natural items in their projects and to develop a relationship with their world.

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