What is Reggio-Inspired?
Developed by Loris Malaguzzi in the post WWII era, Reggio is an approach; an educational philosophy, not a “program.” Born from the philosophies of Froebel, Dewey, and Montessori, Malaguzzi’s Reggio Emilia Approach (REA) to education is rooted in the following understandings:
The child as a protagonist. The Reggio approach emphasizes the importance of having a strong image of the child. This means believing that children are capable and curious. Children have a natural desire to explore the world around them and make sense of it. With the Reggio philosophy, children are encouraged to become researches and to explore their environment and world around them. What could be better than exploring the hundreds of acres of grounds at the Village, watching the seasons unfold around them, being influenced by the symmetry of the building architecture, and feeling the legacy of peacefulness?
The child as a collaborator. REA is focused on children collaborating with each other, with teachers, and with parents on projects and activities. Children are able to construct their own approaches to learning by collaborating with their peers.
The child as a communicator. The Reggio approach promotes the concept that children have “The Hundred Languages” through which to express themselves.
The environment as the third teacher. “It has been said that the environment should act as a kind of aquarium which reflects the ideas, ethics, attitudes and cultures of the people who live in it. This is what we’re working toward.” ~Loris Malaguzzi
The teacher is partner, nurturer and guide, as opposed to the disseminator of knowledge. The teacher is a co-constructor of knowledge, assisting children in developing questions of the world around them and pursuing the answers. The teacher is the supporter of the competent child.
The teacher as a researcher. The teacher observes and listens to children discovering clues and developing strategies that support the learning of their students. This is a continuous process as all children approach learning in different ways and in their own time frame.
Documentation as communication through photographs of student activity, transcriptions of student remarks, and representations of their thinking enable learning to be visible. This documentation is organized and displayed for students and parents to see and guides the work and experiences of the children.
The parent as a partner in their child’s education. Family and parent participation is expected, supported, and essential for student success.