Reggio Emilia Philosophy
About the Reggio Emilia philosophy
In Reggio Emilia they don’t lock their view on children, the pedagogue or the learning process. The world and its people are always changing and that’s why they are against set programs and methods. You can work Reggio Emilia-inspired. You cannot copy the way they work in Italy because you have to consider the people, the environment and culture.
In Reggio Emilia they have a coined expression: “A child has a hundred languages”. They try to unite and develop all these languages; innovation, construction, fantasy, art, music, dance, building, writing, talking, signing, science, body and soul… The multiple languages are used to help children build knowledge and understand the world around them. The natural environment is incorporated as much as possible.
Children are little researchers; they can and want to communicate with the surrounding world. They are individuals with own thoughts, emotions and expressions. They believe in a “listening pedagogy”.
In Reggio Emilia they believe children have an enormous potential and curiosity. Children strive to understand the world, making their own theories to explain how it functions. Children's knowledge needs to be brought out using their natural curiosity and not filled in. I Reggio Emilia they believe that each person constructs their own intelligence from direct interaction with the environment and in social groups.
In Reggio schools, time is not set by the clock, but by the child’s needs and interests. Monday doesn't mean paint day and everybody don’t go to the bathroom at the same time. There should be sufficient time for a child to express, learn, explore, extend and revisit a given project.
The quote below by Malaguzzi who was a former teacher in Reggio sums up how the Italians using this approach view education with children:
"Each child is unique and the protagonist of his or her own growth. Children desire to acquire knowledge, have much capacity for curiosity and amazement, and yearn to create relationships with others and communicate. "
Reprinted with the permission of the Scandinavian School. © by The Scandinavian School in San Francisco, 2001-2005. All rights reserved.
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