Where the children
are the main focus
and contributors of
Loris Malaguzzi is the teacher
that started the Reggio Emilia
Approach, Emilia Romagna in
Northern Italy, after world
The Reggio Approach is a complex
system that respects and puts into
practice many of the fundamental
aspects of the work of Dewey, Piaget,
and Vygotsky and many others. It is a
system that lends itself to: the role of
collaboration among children, teachers
and parent, the co-construction of
knowledge , the interdependence of
individual and social learning and the
role of culture in understanding this
interdependence. (Baji Rankin 2004).
Children are encouraged to
realize and expand their
potential; with great emphasis
being placed on the value of their
ability to socialize, learn about
affection and trust, and satisfying
their needs and desires to learn.
Project work is a
large component of
A network of communication
exists between the children,
parents and teachers of
Reggio. They work together
interacting toward a common
purpose; the building of a
culture which respects
childhood as a time to explore,
create and be joyful. Each of
these persons have rights
within the school.
The Reggio teacher allows the
•Ask their own questions, and
generate their own
hypotheses and to test them.
•To explore and generate
many possibilities both
affirming and contradictory.
She welcomes contradictions
as a venue for exploring,
discussing and debating.
•She provides opportunity to
use symbolic languages to
represent thoughts and
• She provides
opportunity for the
ideas to others.
• She is a keen
partner in the
• She offers children,
through the process
of revisiting the
The curriculum is based on the
interest of children; topics of
studies are captured from the
inquisition of children, through
community or family events, as
well as the main interest and
fascinations of children. For
example ; plants animals, bugs
There are several other factors
that contribute to a child's
learning, they are as follows:
the environment, long term
projects and documentation.
What are the hundred languages
Symbolic languages, including
drawing, sculpting, dramatic play,
writing, painting are used to
represent children’s thinking
processes and theories. As children
work through problems and ideas
they are encouraged to depict
their understanding using many
different representations. As their
thinking evolves they are
encouraged to revisit their
representation to determine if
they are representative of their
intent or if they require
modification. Teachers and
children work together towards an
The educators of Reggio Emilia
view the school as a living
organism. (Malaguzzi, 1994)
The layout of the physical space in
the schools encourages encounters,
communication, and relationships.
The arrangement of structures,
objects and activities encourages
choices, problem solving, and
discoveries in the process of
learning. In preparing the space,
teachers offer the possibility for
children to be with the teachers
and many of the other children, or
with just a few of the children, or
even alone. Teachers are aware,
however, that children also learn
from their peers, especially when
they can interact in small groups.
This is used as a vehicle for
learning. Educators and other
individuals are normally fascinated
by this complex method of learning.
The western world is use to a
predetermined thematic projects.
However, the projects undertaken
by Reggio educators may derive
from both children’s and teacher’s
ideas and interests, thoughts and
theories in things worth knowing
about. Teachers often work on
projects with a small group of
children while the rest of the
classroom continues to involve
itself in other self -selected
activities and explorations.
•The process by which teachers gather
information about children’s ideas
and their thinking process.
•Is done daily so teachers can discuss
their curriculum, keep it fluid and
emergent and develop rational for its
•Is data for study.
•Facilitates continuity across a given
activity, because new activities evolve
from earlier experiences.
•Offers a research orientation to
•Allows teachers to revisit with
•Is concrete, active and reflective.
•Provides the right amount of support
to enable children to perform a task.
•Is at the heart of each project or
•It serves as a lesson planner.
•It defines the teacher as a facilitator.