At the heart of the Reggio philosophy is the belief that children are competent individuals who contribute to their own learning, rather than empty vessels to be filled with facts. The Reggio Approach is successful both because of its powerful image of children and deep respect for the culture of childhood, and because learning happens in the context of pleasurable inquiry as relationships are built between the children and the adults in the classroom. Connections between the environment and learned ideas are inherent and natural.
Fundamental guiding principles of the Reggio Approach:
- The child as protagonist, collaborator and communicator.
- The teacher as researcher, partner and guide in learning.
- Cooperation through focus on group work and community.
- The environment as inviting curiosity, encounters, communication and relationships.
- Parent as involved partners in their children’s learning.
- Documentation as communication and as a tool to make learning visible.
Links with More information about the Reggio Emilia Philosophy:
We perceive children as researchers and deep thinkers, and our curriculum is designed to enhance their motivation to become active learners, to discover and to think critically about the world. Children are invited to investigate important subject matter by developing their own questions and wonderings, seeking ways to explore these through means such as observation, research, experimentation and investigation. In order to realize the potential of our curriculum, teachers facilitate learning by providing stimulating opportunities so children develop deeper understandings, make connections to their experiences and progress in their unique educational journey.
Projects are in-depth studies of concepts, ideas, and interests that arise from children or are proposed by teachers. Considered as research, projects may last one week or could continue throughout the school year. Throughout a project, children are challenged to research their theories of how things work and are encouraged to engage in a wide variety of experiences. We offer an integrated approach where all subject areas and skills are taught within meaningful contexts and projects, rather than being separated. Each child builds skills not only in traditional cognitive, gross motor and social categories, but also in the areas of critical thinking, problem solving, communicating, and perseverance.
Children frequently collaborate in small group interactions where each voice can be heard and various ideas explored, and then share their findings with their whole classroom community. Each classroom, as well as the school as a whole, acts as a democratic model where all participants interact with one another in a spirit of mutual respect and an attitude of care.
Teachers, whom we view as researchers, are learners alongside the children and constantly engaged in a process of observation and documentation in order to offer the best possible educational environment for children. Within such a teacher-researcher role, educators carefully listen, observe and document children’s work and the growth of a community in their classroom. They are committed to reflection about their own teaching and learning. The curriculum is developed through a balance of pre-set goals previously established by the teachers and a keen observation and ongoing reflection of the children’s interests and needs.