The Reggio Emilia Approach

The Reggio Emilia Approach is an educational philosophy focused on preschool and primary education. It was developed by Loris Malaguzzi, who was a teacher himself, and the parents of the villages around Reggio Emilia in Italy. They felt that it is in the early years of development that children form who they are as individuals. This led to the creation of a program based on the principles of respect, responsibility, and community through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment based on the interests of the children through a self-guided curriculum.

Children are capable of constructing their own learning

They are driven by their interests to understand and know more.

Children are communicators

Communication is a process, a way of discovering things, asking questions, using language as play. Children are encouraged to use language to investigate and explore, to reflect on their experiences. They are listened to with respect, believing that their questions and observations are an opportunity to learn and search together.

The adult is a mentor and guide

Our role as adults is to observe children, listen to their questions and their stories, find what interests them and then provide them with opportunities to explore these interests further. Reggio Emilia takes a child-led project approach. The projects aren’t planned in advance, they emerge based on the child’s interests.

The Hundred Languages of Children

The belief that children use many different ways to show their understanding and express their thoughts and creativity. A hundred different ways of thinking, of discovering, of learning. Through drawing and sculpting, through dance and movement, through painting and pretend play, through modeling and music, and that each one of these Hundred Languages must be valued and nurtured. That they are all a part of the child, that learning and play are not separated. The Reggio Emilia Approach emphasises hands-on discovery learning that allows the child to use all their senses and all their languages to learn.

For more details on the Reggio Emilia approach, please visit www.reggiochildren.it

Children form an understanding of themselves and their place in the world through their interactions with others

There is a strong focus on social collaboration, working in groups, where each child is an equal participant, having their thoughts and questions valued. The adult is not the giver of knowledge. Children search out the knowledge through their own investigations.

The environment is the third teacher

The environment is recognised for its potential to inspire children. An environment filled with natural light, order and beauty. The space encourages collaboration, communication and exploration.

An emphasis on documenting children’s thoughts

There is an emphasis on carefully displaying and documenting children’s thoughts and progression of thinking; making their thoughts visible in many different ways: photographs, transcripts of children’s thoughts and explanations, visual representations (drawings, sculptures etc.) all designed to show the child’s learning process.