Monday, November 30, 2020

Reggio Emilia: An Education Model Named After an Italian Town

 The Reggio Emilia method is more a philosophy about teaching than an educational curriculum. This ideology is based on the idea that children are resourceful and that the child's curiosity should guide their lessons.

The Story of Reggio Emilia

There's a beautiful story about the beginnings of this method. An Italian town named Reggio Emilia was struggling to recover from World War II. To earn money for building a new school from the rubble, a small group of women in the town were selling military equipment left behind by the Germans. With this hard-earned money, the women started a preschool. This was the first preschool in the area that wasn't sponsored by the major church in the area. The perseverance and determination of the women and the small town attracted attention worldwide.

Loris Malaguzzi's Education Philosophy

A relatively young educator, Loris Malaguzzi, brought the school some new philosophies about teaching. He wanted students to drive the path of their education, so his classes revolved around specific themes and projects that allowed children to find their own jumping-off points into a variety of subjects. Throughout the classroom, creative materials are made available, so students can experiment with different types of expression. This allows children to study the topics they choose and then express what they've learned through painting, drawing, building, writing, sculpting, and so on.

Documentation of the Child's Exploration

Another important aspect of the Reggio Emilia model for learning is documentation. Rather than filling out charts and comparison graphs, however, Reggio instructors display the children's artwork and creations. Instructors may take pictures, make tape recordings, or jot down notes. The goal of this documentation is to show a progression of the children's study and observations. The documents may also serve as a direction for future studies.

Independence and Creativity

There are many forms of alternative preschools, and it can be difficult to choose from many wonderful options. If your primary goals for your child are to encourage independence and creativity, the Reggio Emilia school is a wonderful option.

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