The Regggio Emilia Approach To Early Childhood Education

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Introduction

The Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education has been called “arguably, the most successful, most extensive and most sustained example of radical or progressive education that has ever been” (Moss, 2016, p. 167). Drawing inspiration from theorists such as Montessori, Dewey, and Piaget, Loris Malaguzzi created a social constructivist approach, which envisioned learning as an active process. Under Reggio Emilia, children are seen as unique and capable individuals who co-construct knowledge with their peers, teachers, and environment through the use of a variety of materials/mediums.
Curricular/Pedagogical approach The Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education is named after the city in Italy in which it
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96). With this in mind, teachers are encouraged to listen to the children and view the children as active constructors of their own knowledge. Meanwhile, the teacher is viewed as a co-collaborator in the learning process. “Reciprocal exchanges between children and adults through the course of constructing knowledge are valued and fostered” (Hewett, 2001, p. 97). Teachers are also seen as facilitators, scaffolding students and providing them with the tools they need to learn and grow. As Malaguzzi said, “The aim of teaching is not to produce learning but to produce the conditions for learning” (Rinaldi, 2006, p. 175). The phrase “hundred languages” has become synonymous with the Reggio Emilia approach. Malaguzzi coined this term in a poem he wrote. It refers to the many different mediums and materials through which children are able to express themselves. “Intelligence is a system of operations, and operations are internalized only if children have available to them, as well as the passionate and liberating presence of adults, materials that allow them to live their experiences in concrete ways” (Malaguzzi, 2016, p. 126). From art to music, materials are highly valued in Reggio Emilia …show more content…
For this reason, immense thought goes into designing a Reggio Emilia school. The goal is to create a place that “can be experienced not as a time and space for reproducing and transmitting established knowledge but as a place of true creativity” (Rinaldi, 2006, p. 79). The environment is also designed in a way that strengthens the parent-school relationship. Entryways are designed as a place for parents to gather and observe documentation of their child’s work. What makes Reggio Emilia schools truly unique is their fluidity. “One cannot consider it fixed and set forever, but rather as part of a process of change and growth. Therefore, the space is ready to change in relationship with the subjects, the children who live in the space” (Gandini, 2007, p. 61). The school is meant to reflect the interests of the children who inhabit it. Documentation is a vital part of the Reggio Emilia approach. “Perhaps one of its most unique contributions to the field of education is the use of the documentation of children’s experience as a standard part of the classroom practice” (Schroeder, 2008, 127). By documenting a child’s work throughout its creation, teachers create a deeper insight into the child’s learning, which allows them to learn as well. This documentation also serves to foster communication between the teacher, the parents/family, and the child (p.

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