Reggio Emilia Approach
The Reggio Emilia Philosophy is an innovative and inspiring approach, which values the child as strong, capable and resilient; rich with wonder and knowledge. The Philosophy rides on the curiosity of children and aims to assist them with understanding their world and who they are in it.
Children are allowed to explore and discover in a supportive and rich environment, where the curriculum is created around the children’s interests.
To understand it better, it’s important to know the three core principles of the Reggio Emilia philosophy: the child, the environment, and the teacher.
The Reggio Emilia philosophy values the child as central to their own learning, not simply an empty vessel waiting to be filled with knowledge. Children are able to pursue their own interests and revisit and build upon ideas at their own pace. You may have heard of something called the ‘100 languages of children’. This concept recognises that children have multiple ways of thinking, playing, exploring, speaking and doing. The Reggio Emilia approach encourages children to use every tool they have to express themselves.
A Reggio-inspired environment, often referred to as ‘the third teacher’, is one that is open and free-flowing. It enables uninterrupted exploration, play and learning. Outdoor spaces are valued just as highly as indoor areas, and the design of the space should allow children to move freely between the two. In addition, it is important that children have free access to stimulating resources, as they cannot be the owner of their learning journey without this. With a project based learning educators provide children with opportunities to investigate and explore an area of interest, and provide children with the power to construct their own learning. The projects are organized with photos, books, free-use learning stations and related resources.
Educator are encouraged to observe children. It is important that children are allowed to experiment in their own way, make mistakes and find new solutions. The role of the educator is to gently move children towards areas of interest to them, and this can only be done through careful observation carried out over time. Educators have to work with families and coordinators for the development of community.