The Reggio Emilia Approach

Educators in schools that follow the reggio emilia approach understand children’s unlimited potential for learning and understanding. They believe children are active collaborators in their education and that learning comes from a variety of sources.

Teachers encourage students to explore their interests by using “provocations” in the classroom. They also document a student’s learning through art, crafts and other forms of expression.

The Three Teachers

Reggio Emilia approaches learning as a dynamic process that is student-led, with students acting as collaborators in their search for knowledge. This is done through projects that are designed to take the shape of anything from a week long research investigation to an entire school year.

The curriculum in a Reggio Emilia classroom is based on children’s interests as determined by teachers through conversations with parents and observation of their children. These interests are incorporated into the Emergent Curriculum, which includes the projects teachers choose to guide their students.

Children are also encouraged to use all of their 100 languages to express themselves. This encourages their imagination and builds confidence in themselves as they move through the world. It also helps to teach them how to communicate their ideas, whether it is through a sculpture, painting or a story. These are documented as well, as the value of documentation is a fundamental component of this approach.

The Environment

In a classroom that is reggio emilia inspired, students are encouraged to express their ideas in many different ways. This helps them to build confidence in their abilities. It also allows them to find their unique way of learning.

Teachers look for underlying interests in students and then create educational projects to further explore those interests. These projects could last a week or two or they might span an entire school year.

These projects are based on the idea that children have 100 languages of expression. They might be able to communicate through art, music, movement or by just listening.

A classroom that follows the reggio emilia approach will have plenty of open spaces to allow for students to move around. It will also have a central area where student work can be displayed, which is important for documenting student progress and promoting discussion. A lot of natural lighting and windows are also important to encourage the learning process.

The Curriculum

In the Reggio Emilia approach, teachers are viewed as collaborators and guides to children’s experiences and discoveries. This includes guiding children’s exploration of their interests as well as creating in-depth projects that are driven by these interests.

In addition, children are encouraged to collaborate with one another. This includes large and small group work that promotes the use of dialogue, comparisons, negotiations, and problem-solving skills.

Teachers also document children’s learning through a variety of methods, including observational drawings, dictation, and pictures. This is known as pedagogical documentation and research supports that this type of documentation helps children become aware of their own learning processes.

Additionally, the Reggio Emilia approach places an emphasis on parents as a child’s first teacher. As such, parents are encouraged to participate in school-wide and classroom activities, and they are seen as partners in the education of their children. This includes participating in collaborative projects and being involved in curriculum planning.

The Documentation

It is crucial in the Reggio Emilia approach that a child’s learning be documented. Teachers encourage children to use a variety of media to communicate their thoughts, from taking pictures to writing and even sculpting. These various “languages” allow them to explore their interests in an innovative way and develop a love of learning.

Parents are also considered a child’s first teacher in this philosophy and teachers consider them to be active partners and collaborators, as well as advocates for their children. They are expected to participate in all aspects of the classroom community, including curriculum planning and assessment.

The school’s environment is a third teacher and it is seen as an instructional tool, with students encouraged to take advantage of outdoor space whenever possible. It is also a place where plants, animals, and materials are all used to make the space more inviting and engaging for students. Documentation is done through pictures, videos, and verbal/audio recordings.

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