The Reggio Emilia Approach to early childhood education originated in the city of Reggio Emilia in Italy. Since its development in the 1940’s, this inspiring and innovative educational approach to early childhood learning has since been used worldwide.
The Reggio Approach fosters the children’s intellectual development through encouraging young children to explore their environment and express themselves through all of their available “expressive, communicative and cognitive languages”
It is not seen an educational method rather it is seen as a living process.
Fundamental Aspects Of Reggio Emilia
The Reggio Emilia approach values the belief that children are strong, competent and capable citizens who are full of wonder and curiosity to learn. It believes that children have a natural drive that makes them want to understand and know about the world around them and how this world relates to them. Children are believed to be capable of constructing their own methods of researching and learning using everything from play to a variety of other hands-on-learning experiences.
The environment is considered to be very important to the learning process in this approach, and parents as well as teachers are considered to play an important role in the education of children using the Reggio Emilia approach. Learning is also made “visible” through documenting the child’s learning experiences.
In using this approach to education, time is given to the children so they may be allowed to learn, explore, or go back and revisit an investigation or a focus of interest as needed.
It is an approach based on listening rather than talking; where doubt and amazement are welcome factors along with the scientific inquiry and the deductive methods used by a detective.
How The Reggio Emilia Approach Sees Children
The Reggio approach views children as being worthy of being listened to and feels that adults can actually learn from children as well as the other way around. Teachers are also encouraged to allow the children to guide their own curricula based upon their own interests and curiosities. The classroom environment is also geared to accommodate the needs of the children. Children are encouraged to develop their own curiosities and potential in order to understand the world around them and how they fit within this.
The Reggio Emilia Approach is seen as an inspired child-led approach to learning. The general principles of Reggio can also be incorporated into home life. Adults are encouraged to slow down and listen to their children, discover what interests them, and then provide them with ways to nurture these interests. Learning and play are not considered to be separate, but rather as being related to each other. This approach to education views the child as playing a very important role in their own educational experience.