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The Reggio Emilia approach

By Laurie Huberman

The Reggio Emilia approach is an educational philosophy focused on pre-school and primary school education. It was developed after World War II by a teacher, Loris Malaguzzi, and parents in the villages around Reggio Emilia in northern Italy. The school's philosophy is that children are “knowledge bearers” and that they need to be encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas about everything.
The main principles behind this philosophy are:

1. Children must have some control over the direction of their learning.

2. Children must be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening and observing.

3. Children must be able to explore relationships with other children and with material items in the world and

4. children must have endles ways and opportunities to express themselves.

Much of the instruction at Regio Emilia schools takes place in the form of projects providing opportunities to explore, observe, hytpothesize, question and discuss. There is a strong tradition as well of community support and collaboration with parents.

For further reading:

Hewitt, Valarie (2001: “Examining the Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education” Early Childhood Education Journal 29 (2),95-10

Reggio Emilia – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia