The Reggio Emilia approach is based on a child-driven teaching methodology. In this approach, teachers do not plan lessons or projects – they let them emerge. This learning method allows children to explore their interests through multisensory experiences that encourage self-expression, communication and logical thinking. These experiences also help children develop confidence in their abilities.
Children Are Involved in Their Learning
The Reggio Emilia approach places children at the center of their learning. The philosophy is based on the idea that children use 100 languages—dance, art, music, laughter, play, building, writing, talking, signing, science, and body—to make sense of the world around them. The Reggio Emilia method invites children to express themselves using any media they choose, including drawings, poetry, photography, artwork, and objects, to promote these many languages. Ultimately, this documentation serves as a record of their learning development. It means teachers set up different classroom spaces for small groups and individual projects. It also means that teachers pay attention to details like textures and colors to inspire a child’s interest.
Children Are Active Learners
The concept that children have a natural aptitude for creating independent learning is a crucial component of the Reggio Emilia model. It means that teachers should not be seen as commanding the classroom – they are partners who guide experiences, open-ended discovery and problem-solving. It enables children to learn according to their strengths. It also fosters social development as children can work with their friends and teachers in a group environment. This ethos is supported by the curriculum, which uses painting and drawing to stimulate creativity and create symbolic languages for children. Symbolic languages are important in Reggio Emilia because they allow children to express their ideas and understand the world around them.
Children Are Collaborators
In Reggio Emilia, children are considered collaborators and not passive observers. They are the center of their learning and actively construct their knowledge. In a Reggio Emilia-inspired classroom, teachers and children work together to identify their interests, create activities, and pursue projects that interest them. These projects may have yet to be planned, and they are usually based on the children’s questions or observations of their play. It is an important aspect of the approach because it allows children to learn by actively exploring and creating their knowledge and skills. It also encourages them to collaborate with others and develop open-minded thinking, resilience, and respect for their community. Unlike American teachers, who often plan units and thematic studies, Reggio Emilia educators observe children’s spontaneous exploration and play to find investigation topics. These are then selected based on the child’s interests, academic curiosity, or social concerns. Documentation is also a central part of this approach.
Children Are Observers
Observation is the most important part of Reggio Emilia’s approach to education. Teachers are skilled observers who record daily data on children’s learning and development. This documentation may include notes, pictures, work portfolios and even dictation of children’s verbal language. These resources allow teachers to document children’s learning and build new curricula from term to term, helping them assess their progress. They also make this documentation visible in the classroom to keep children’s memory of their learning clear and to build a sense of ownership over their explorations. A core premise of the Reggio Emilia philosophy is that children may learn by seeing and communicating in various languages, including speech, movement, drawings, paintings, architecture, sculptures, and others. By creating a classroom where children are given many opportunities to express, discover and communicate through these multiple languages, they can become more engaged in their learning.