What is Reggio Emilia?
Reggio Emilia is a town in Italy whose citizens came together post WW2 to reimagine and rebuild their approach to early childhood education. The Reggio Emilia approach was founded by Loris Malaguzzi.
Inspired by their approach, schools, teachers, homeschooling parents, and other educators have adopted this child-centered perspective and applied it to their local context.
As a Reggio-inspired early childcare centre, we see children as naturally curious and adults as facilitators of learning.
From birth, children are naturally curious little scientists. They observe, formulate theories, and consistently test their results. This is their way of making sense of the world around them.
When children are playing, they are exploring, tinkering, and discovering. They also practice skills during play which they may have learned before.
A child dropping their bottle off the table again and again (and again!) is repeating an experiment just as real scientists do, observing to see if the results can be reproduced. Will mommy pick it up off the floor every time? Will it make the same noise as it hits the floor?
Our role, therefore, is to observe and decipher their thinking process, enabling us to support their learning by challenging them to think further. We use our knowledge of child development and the curriculum to artfully layer on learning in an engaging and stimulating manner.
The Image of the Child is one who is naturally curious, competent, capable, and actively forming a relationship with the world.
Children have a Hundred Languages of learning. They have multiple ways of seeing, doing, and sharing their knowledge.
Teachers document the growth and learning of the children through careful observation of their behaviours, language, artwork, and interactions. Our notes, photos, and samples of their work help us to decipher what is important to them. Then we use that information to plan the environment and other learning opportunities. This is called an Emergent Curriculum.
The environment (surroundings) is the Third Teacher. Reggio-inspired spaces are thoughtfully planned and change dynamically with the children's changing interests and needs. What we bring into their environment and how it is laid out will determine what kinds of learning opportunities children have at school.