We are exploring the Reggio Emilia Approach
The Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education is a progressive, play-based, child-led approach to early learning that originated in the town of Reggio Emilia, Italy.
This philosophy is interwoven with theories from educators and psychologists including Loris Malaguzzi, Maria Montessori, Lev Vygotsky and Jerome Bruner.
Our director, Diane Barsotti, has been following this approach for many years by studying its methods and viewing Reggio inspired schools in the Boston area as well as in other parts of the United States. Children’s Corner is excited to be embarking on a journey to explore this method of teaching.
Reggio is Social
At Children’s Corner, there are many opportunities for free play and child-led collaborations, which develop social skills that are vital to children’s abilities to learn and apply knowledge late in life. We place a high value on group projects and social collaborations that allow the children to explore and investigate their ideas together.
Reggio is Child-led
At Children’s Corner, the adults follow the children’s interests when designing learning experiences. The adult acts as a mentor and guide rather than a dictator in the classroom. For example, one day a group of children were discussing the color of the sky. This led to the question, “Do you like the day sky or the night sky?” After graphing the answers, we learned that more children like the night sky. Each school day, for one month, we observed the color of the sky and mixed paint to match it. We decided to create a collaborative piece of art that showed the color of the sky each school day.
What did this piece of art tell us about the skies that month? “There are light clouds and dark clouds. The blue days are the sunny days.”
This is what is known as an emergent curriculum – the learning experiences are not planned ahead of time but instead develop, or emerge, as the children express interest in a topic.
Reggio is Communicative
At Children’s Corner, children are given the tools to communicate or represent their ideas in a variety of ways, whether it be spoken language, art mediums, music, dance or dramatic play. The more ways a child can express his or her ideas, the more he/she can refine those ideas and then deepen the learning that takes place.