Reggio Emilia — A Child Centered Approach to Learning

Reggio Emilia is a philosophy of early childhood and primary education that dates back to right after World War II–created by Loris Malaguzzi in the villages surrounding Reggio Emilia, Italy.

The Reggio Emilia philosophy starts with the belief of a strong image of the child. The philosophy encourages a deep respect for the child as a whole person.

Children are viewed as strong, capable and driven by the power of wanting to learn.

In this style of learning parents, teachers and the environment are partners in the education process.

The Reggio Emilia Curriculum

In traditional schools’ teachers are forced to align their work with standards or readiness guidelines. In the Reggio philosophy there is no set curriculum. The curriculum is child driven.

The Reggio Emilia Advantage

The biggest advantage of this philosophy is the ownership that the child has in the learning process. When you follow the child’s interests the learning is more meaningful. Children that learn this way develop a lifelong love for learning.

This philosophy considered the classroom environment the “third teacher.” The classroom is set up to resemble as close to home as possible.

The Reggio Emilia Classroom

This philosophy often references what is called a provocation. This simply means that teachers, after having observed the children, will set out materials that are selected specifically to provoke thoughts and ideas, and encourage creativity.

Reggio Emilia Provocations

But Longo assures parents that, “Reggio children gain self-confidence, they are respected and encouraged to try things on their own before asking for help. They learn about risk taking, they learn how to self-regulate and develop communication skills, they are truly valued.”

Myths about the Reggio Emilia philosophy

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