WHAT IS REGGIO EMILIA
Reggio Emilia is a small town in northern Italy. After the Second World War the Italian government gave every town a small amount of money to help their communities ‘re-build’. Most towns built community centres; Reggio Emilia however, built a school, as their investment into the future. The money they had was insufficient, yet the women and children collected bricks from the rubble and the men built the school. All 3 parties had a voice on the creation and design of the building. Loris Malaguzzi became the driving force behind the school, and in December 1991 a Newsweek article identified ‘Reggio Emilia’ as the best early childhood program in the world!
Today, many countries (parts of Europe, Australia, New Zealand & the US) either follow or are inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy as part of their national curriculum for pre-school education. Reggio Emilia Town now conducts exhibitions, training and tours, and welcome groups from schools and universities from Europe, the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, and System’s Little House in Hanoi, Vietnam!
Our programme draws ideas from the Reggio Emilia childcare philosophy and approach to learning. We adopt the Reggio Principals as our guidelines with the four objects: children, teachers and parents in the surrounding environment. Find out below how we perceive the four in our approach.
- The child is a collaborator; and their education should focus on them in relation to other children, family, teachers, and culture /community, rather than as a child in isolation.
- The child is a protagonist; and is strong, rich and capable. Teachers and parents are also protagonists, and together they are the three central components to the educational process.
The teacher is a partner, nurturer, and guide who facilitates children’s exploration of themes, projects, and experiences with open-ended discovery and problem-solving.
The teacher is also a researcher; who works in pairs with the class assistant, and as part of a team. They engage in continuous discussion and interpretation of their and the children’s work.
The parent is a partner; participation is considered essential and can take many forms including ideas, skills, communication, and trust.
The environment is the third teacher. The design and use of space should encourage encounters, communication, and relationships. The environment should be beautiful and organized. Every part should have a purpose and be valued and cared for by children and adults.