Reggio Emilia Philosophy Presented by The Compass School, Cincinnati 2011
Reggio Emilia Philosophy The Philosophy and schools bearing this city’s name were developed after WWII by a gentleman named Loris Malaguzzi. The idea behind the philosophy was to create an environment of peace, communication, collaboration and respect for young children so that they may build a community of respect for the future generations and war would no longer be a part of the city. The government, community and people are all an integral part of the success of the schools in Reggio Emilia.
The Reggio Inspired Approach8 Principles 1. The image of the child: all children have potential, construct their own learning, and are capable.
2. Community and system: children, family, teachers, parents, and community are interactive and work together.
3. Interest in environment and beauty: school and classrooms are beautiful places
4. Collaboration by teachers: team, partners, working together, sharing information, sharing in projects.
5. Time not set by clock: respect for children's pace, time table, stay with teachers for several years, and relationships remain constant.
6. Emergent curriculum/projects: child-centered, following their interest, returning again and again to add new insights.
7. Environmental stimulation: encourages activity, involvement, discovery, and using a variety of media.
8. Documentation: observing, recording, thinking and showing children's learning.
The Compass School of CincinnatiA Reggio Inspired School for Young Children
What does it mean to be “Reggio Inspired?” Because in Italy this approach is integrated into the fabric of the local government, community, and its people, it cannot be exactly replicated in the United States. To be “Reggio-Inspired” is to adopt the core values and beliefs of this approach to educating young children. Such principles include:
The Image of the Child We view every child as strong, capable, independent, curious, and full of imagination. We empower children to think, question, investigate, explore, and help navigate the journey of learning. We empower children to think, question, investigate, explore, and help navigate the journey of learning.
Emergent Curriculum Teachers observe and document the interactions, discussions, and fascinations of children. By developing learning opportunities from these observations, the curriculum “emerges” from children’s interests and ideas.
Project Work Our educators deliver this emergent curriculum through project work, which allows children to explore these areas of interest in detail. Projects may last a day, a week, a month, or even longer, depending on the interests of the group. Teachers are thoughtful about introducing a broad range of opportunities, from art to music to early language, math, science and nature experiences, in support of the project. By exploring projects of children’s interest in great detail, children are excited by the learning process. This enthusiasm for knowledge, combined with the ability to experience project work in detail, will foster a predisposition for “life-long” learning.
The Role of the Teacher The teacher is viewed as a partner in learning, with the children. By listening, observing, and documenting children’s work, the teacher is equipped to guide children’s learning experiences, and “co-construct” knowledge.
Providing opportunities in the natural world.
The Role of Environment The environment of the school (its classrooms, common spaces, and playground) is viewed as the “third teacher.” The environment should be a reflection of the children, teachers, and parents who live and learn there. It should be thoughtful, imaginative, enticing, and respect the image of the child.
Parental Involvement Learning takes place not just within the school, but also at home and throughout the community. We encourage parents to participate in project work, special events, and the daily life of the school. We seek an integrated learning community, where teachers, parents, and administrators work together to meet the needs of the children.
Documentation By documenting the children’s work through photographs, video, written word, displays, etc, teachers tell the story of the children’s early childhood experiences. Every child has their own portfolio, consisting of art work, photographs, information related to developmental milestones, and more. Lesson plans, project boards, and Daily Highlights explain the work of the children, and communicate the life of the school to the community at-large.
Journaling (private communication between the parent and classroom teacher regarding the individual child.)