At the heart of the Reggio Emilia Approach is a strong image of the child, actively constructing their own learning, building relationships, and negotiating with everything the environment presents: materials, social encounters, and learning opportunities. The environment is thought of as the “third teacher,” designed to be intentional, inviting, and supportive of all aspects of learning.
Special attention is given to the expressive capabilities of children, often referred to as The Hundred Languages of Children. Children and teachers are active researchers and problem-solvers, working together in a learning community on topics of interest. The Reggio Approach teaches us to think beyond meeting children’s needs and to ask ourselves, “What do children deserve?”
Our understanding and implementation of the Reggio Approach is a continuing journey. We dialogue with other schools inspired by the approach, attend professional development, and continue to learn from our families and children in order to gain a deeper understanding of the possibilities of this approach to teaching and learning with young children.
The Reggio Emilia philosophy and approach originated in 1945 in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and has continued to evolve over the past 50 years. Founded by Loris Malaguzzi, he is broadly considered to be a leader, philosopher, and innovator in education. The educators in Reggio Emilia continue to work as international leaders in early childhood education. (www.reggioalliance.org)