The Reggio Emilia Approach is an innovative approach to early childhood education that 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.
The Approach originated in the town and surrounding areas of Reggio Emilia in Italy out of a movement towards progressive and cooperative early childhood education. It is unique to Reggio Emilia and it is not a method. Unlike Montessori, there are no international training colleges to become a Reggio Emilia teacher. Only the municipal infant toddler centers and preschools of Reggio Emilia are Reggio schools--all other programs are Reggio-inspired, using an adaptation of the approach specific to the needs of their community. No two Reggio-inspired schools should look the same as the needs and interests of the children and families within each community will be different.
Fundamental Principles and Values of the Reggio Emilia Approach
- Children are capable of constructing their own learning
- Children use many different ways ("a hundred languages") to show their understanding and express their thoughts and creativity
- Children form an understanding of themselves and their place in the world through their interactions with others
- Children are communicators and are encouraged to use language to investigate and explore
- The physical environment is seen as the additional teacher and is recognized for its potential to inspire children
- The adults in the classroom are mentors and guides learning with children
- An emphasis is placed on documenting children's thoughts and progression of thinking and making thoughts visible in many different ways, designed to show the child's learning process
The schools implementing the Reggio Emilia Approach within their PK3 and PK4 classrooms are:
Brent, Mann, Miner, Ludlow-Taylor, and School-Within-School@ Goding.