I’m thrilled to be starting a new bi-monthly series with some talented fellow-bloggers, about Reggio Emilia, a much-loved educational theory. Many proponents of play-based learning and child-centred educators may discover that Reggio principles are already at the core of so much of what we do when aiding children in their individual learning journeys. I can’t wait for this series to begin!
Join me, Kate from An Everyday Story, Ness from One Perfect Day, Debs from Learn with Play at Home and Stephanie from Twodaloo as we talk through some of the central themes of the approach every other week, sharing things we have discovered, ideas we have tried and resources and materials we have found useful. In true Reggio style we will be researching and reporting back our findings, and would love for you to follow along with us as co-learners in our series.
[You can read a brief history of Reggio Emilia here]
As a brief overview and introduction, here are some key points in the Reggio Emilia approach.
* values the child as central to their own learning, not simply an empty vessel waiting to be gilled ip with knowledge, able to purse their own interests and revisit and build upon ideas at their own pace
* recognises that relationships with other children and adults are hugely important to how a child learns and involves parents closely as a result of this
* values early childhood as a significant part of life in and of itself, not merely a stepping-stone to “real” future learning
* champions creativity, imaginative skills and expressive arts and dedicates space, resources and teachers specifically for this purpose
* follows an emergent curriculum based upon a thorough knowledge of the children’s individual interests and abilities, due to a close teacher-child relationship and lots of observations of their play
The 100 languages of the child:
is made of one hundred. The child has
a hundred languages
a hundred hands
a hundred thoughts
a hundred ways of thinking of playing, of speaking” …
*learning spaces are open, free flowing between rooms and gathered around a central meeting area, and leading to outdoor learning spaces which are valued as important as the indoor classroom
*there is a huge emphasis placed on the importance of natural light, using large windows, mirrors and reflective surfaces, with white and neutral colours used to decorate
*good quality, stimulating and interesting materials are made freely accessible and can be used in multiple ways for on-going projects
*the environment is referred to as the “third teacher” as its importance is seen to be critical for young children’s development
The role of the teacher:
*teachers are encouraged to observe, stay back and allow children to experiment, make mistakes and self-correct
*together with the child they research and discover together, with plenty of opportunities set up for providing open ended challenges, play prompts or “provocations” to extend their ideas further (see also Invitations to Play)
*they observe and analyse children’s learning in photographic and annotated documents which record the child’s learning journey over the course of a number of years, with teachers stating with the children over this period
For more information on this topic, read this very interesting and full study of the Reggio Approach in schools.
We can’t wait to begin this series! We will be back in 2 weeks time with our first topic.
Until then check out our collaborative Exploring Reggio Pinterest board where we are pinning fabulous finds daily!