Day #3 of our teaching tour, Reggio Emilia!
The Reggio Emilia Approach is an educational philosophy focused on preschool and primary education. This is a style that is relatively new to the education world. During the post-World War II era, a “…desire to bring change and create a new, more just world, free from oppression, was urging women and men to gather their strength and build with their own hands schools for their young children.”Beginning in Italy, the first Reggio Emilia modeled school was opened in 1963.
Reggio Emilia is recognized around the world as an innovative approach to teaching. In this approach, there is a belief that children have rights and should be given opportunities to develop their potential. Children are believed “knowledge bearers”, so they are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas about everything they could meet or do during the day.
- Children must have some control over the direction of their learning;
- Children must be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, seeing, and hearing;
- Children have a relationship with other children and with material items in the world that children must be allowed to explore and
- Children must have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves.
In the Reggio approach, the teacher is considered a co-learner and collaborator with the child and not just an instructor. Teachers are encouraged to facilitate the child’s learning by planning activities and lessons based on the child’s interests, asking questions to further understanding, and actively engaging in the activities alongside the child, instead of sitting back and observing the child learning.
The Reggio Emilia approach views children as capable, inquisitive learners and experiences are planned to spark creativity, thinking, planning and reflecting.
An experience using natural materials is not only aesthetically pleasing, it is also delightfully open-ended, engages the senses and supports valuable connections with the natural world.